Published on: August 31, 2018

Dr. M. R. Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, writes:

What a month for losses!

First, the shock of the worst floods in a century in Kerala with about 1 million people in relief camps. And then came the news of the death of two people, who had for many years enriched my life as well as that of numerous people in palliative care.

One was Subair – Subair who came to us as a patient some 23 years back with a broken life and a story of stepwise amputations of his lower limb due to cancer; the financial destruction which sent his children to an orphanage; agonising pain which could be controlled on fairly high doses of morphine; rehab with a coffee vending machine which gave him back his life and livelihood, reuniting the whole family. A tower of strength, he inspired other patients and families and all he came across.

This man demonstrated with his life, how to overcome adversities. When he found that his experience with pain management and with morphine could be a learning point for others, he always went out of his way to tell his story to those who needed that learning, including doctors and medical students. Much has been written about him; he was also filmed by Moonshine Agencies in Australia and by others. He finally succumbed to his ailments on 25th August, 2018.

Soon afterwards, we heard about the sudden demise of another of our fellow-travellers, Rahna from Nilambur.

She too had been our friend for about 20 years. She had pain from a cruel disease called chronic calcific pancreatitis.

(Image: Rahna [in green] with her mother Sainaba)

Rahna taught us forbearance and her whole family taught us lessons in integrity.

Both Subair and Rahna not only consented to having their photographs made public, but also had asked us to make their stories known if they will benefit others.

Thank you, Subair and Rahna. Rest in peace!

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