Published on: July 20, 2017

By Ana Luísa Pereira and Tania Chalton

Tania and Ana, at Pallium India

“By its fruits one knows the tree.” – Brazilian proverb

It is important to talk about this tree. As visitors that came from far, it is inspiring to see Pallium India’s patients and families – it is not an overstatement to say how much your work brings them answers, respect, relief and orientation. In the storm of pain and disease there is a safe harbor.
We don’t need to know more than three words in Malayalam* to see that.
Pallium’s fruits speak for themselves.

The tree is growing, not only providing shelter to so many different patients and families but also welcoming those who want to learn and improve palliative care worldwide.

The nurses are in the roots, the body and branches of this tree. They go way beyond care and comfort and holding hands and bringing a smile.

In every shift, in every visit, you carry in your arms the responsibility of one of the most rewarding jobs in world, navigating the system and crossing the shadows of suffering.

We won’t talk about holding hands. The celebration goes to the arms. You hold hands but your arms are arms. Arms that fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. Arms that hold, relieve, change. Arms that tell, hear and prepare. Arms that learn, teach and grow. Not just the hands, the holding of hands.

You, nurses, are the engineers that balance art and science by the bedside of the patient. In a room or a ward. In a corridor or in a street. At a meeting or a conference.

We celebrate the nurses of yesterday and the nurses of tomorrow. The nurses that know and the nurses that learn. The nurses that do and the nurses that teach.

So raise your arms and keep your fight so inspiring.

*Important note: We know more than three words in Malayalam.


Ana (physician) and Tania (nurse) are volunteers who visited Pallium India in May 2017.

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