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Truly Touching Stories

THE FINAL JOURNEY

After the Mahabharatha, the Pandavas ruled wisely but without joy over Hastinapura for many many years... Till they heard of Krishna's death.

They then realized that they had no desire to live any longer. They had nothing more to do. So they set out on their FINAL JOURNEY. To reach Heaven in their bodily forms. Only the most righteous of the righteous were granted this privilege.

The path over the mountains was treacherous, the climb to Heaven... arduous beyond description.
The icy cold bit into their bodies, they had but mere thin cloth to cover themselves.

The suffering was unbearable, the pain excruciating, the agony intolerable...

Yet the five brothers and their wife Draupadi trudged along.
This FINAL JOURNEY fraught with pain was something they had sought voluntarily.

One by one they fell and died on the way, with the exception of the truly virtuous & truthful Yudishthira who reached Heaven in his bodily form. And the story goes on ... of how even that flawless king HAD to glimpse Hell before he was admitted to Heaven.

Here on Earth,

We all must embark on that FINAL JOURNEY TOO.
Sometime or the other.

THOUGH we do not really have a choice (about ascending in our bodily forms, like the Pandavas had)...WITHOUT EXCEPTION, every human wants THAT FINAL JOURNEY to be pain-free, to be filled with peace, to be with loved ones....to pass away quickly, without agony, without suffering...at the very least.

BUT...What if a person has an incurable disease ? Where pain is inevitable...
(Like Cancer...like End-stage Renal failure.. . where the pain is UNBEARABLE unless treated with specific pain-killers...till Death provides the Final Release)

What if that person is so poor...neither he nor his relatives can even feed him, let alone pay for medicines...

What if that person is abandoned on the road, to die a slow horrible painful death...as the relatives cannot bear to see him suffer.

What if that 'person' is a small child ? A tiny kid...Innocent..all she wants is to play ... yet is doomed to a painful end...because of poverty.

If there is ANYTHING you can do to help such a person die peacefully, to make his/her FINAL JOURNEY as pain-free as possible...would you do that?

Will you consider contributing in any way you can, small or big... to Institutions that take care of such people? (Yes, such Institutions do exist here, though there are too few)

Will you spend a few minutes looking up http://www.palliativecarepartners.in/ ? PRPCS - (Pain Relief and Palliative Care society) Will you, as the second step, read about the importance of Pain Relief and Palliative Care Society to such persons?

And understand...just what a difference to a FINAL JOURNEY your contribution can make.


MY HERO

Crowded and noisy. Pain and fear could be seen around every corner. My first impression of the palliative care department as I entered the Pediatric oncology ward on my first day in the hospital as a volunteer. I started talking to children and parents. They all looked the same: tired and frightened.

My first thought was "Why is the treatment worse than the disease?" My eyes were drawn to a mother who was holding her son, about six years of age. The mother's face had a big smile while enjoying the brief moments of happiness in her son's short life. He too had been chosen to suffer an unfair and uncertain fate. My eyes filled with tears. I stared at his small bald head, knowing the reason behind him being hairless. I went close to him and started talking to him. I took his hand and looked at him. He was calm. His eyes were bright, with an expression of complete trust on his tiny face.

I know that I will never forget that expression in my life. That day I learnt a lesson from a little boy.– he taught me that anger, tears and sadness are only for those who have given up. He also taught me to trust. He changed my life.

He looked pale and sick that day, nevertheless he had expressive eyes. A quiet boy, polite - loved by everyone in the palliative care department. His family – his father, mother, brother and sister worked hard to make ends meet. It was a disaster beyond comprehension when Lingababu was diagnosed with Leukemia. His tender body underwent radiation and chemotherapy His parents struggled to contain their grief, worry and fear. They managed to hide their tears day after day, just for his sake.

. With a little thoughtfulness and creativity, a sick child's day can be made brighter. Let the child know that you are aware of the illness. Caring deeply and praying daily for a recovery – this is what I used to do everyday. When I am consumed with trials in my life, I reflect back on those special children who possess knowledge and maturity beyond their years. I have learnt that, in comparison with them, my troubles are very insignificant. I feel that I was instead, taught valuable lessons on the value of life. Lingababu left behind an indelible mark in my mind. A wonderful child. Today, though my little hero is no more, but will always be there in my heart.


POSTIVE ATTITUDE

His sense of humour set Naveen, a six year old boy, apart from other children. A natural entertainer with a positive attitude, he loved to make people laugh. His greatest joy was in walking and playing all around the hospital. His fascination for the computer in the Palliative care department knew no bounds. All his family members – his mother, sister and brother loved him immensely.

His mother came to the hospital when she felt that there was something wrong with her son. The doctor told her that he had blood cancer. She, being the sole bread earner, used to leave her son in the hospital and go to work. Naveen was on medication, chemotherapy and radiation. He was in and out of the hospital regularly. His mother seemed to walk through each day with tears in her eyes and thinking about her other children whom she had left behind, back home, hoping that her son would recover from the cancer. Naveen's attitude helped him to be brave and face the treatment. He was very energetic. He was also very naughty and mischievous in the pediatric ward.
I loved talking to him about his school, home and family. He was very creative.

One day as I entered the Palliative care department, he showed me some coins and told me he had Rs. 5 with him. He needed Rs. 5 more. I asked him what he needed it for. He immediately gave an answer," To eat a plate of poori!", which happened to be his favorite along with potato curry. That was one of the best things about him. He found happiness in the little pleasures of life.
Naveen's childhood was different from others. I never heard him complain about his bald head, swollen face, low energy levels. Nothing stopped him from playing outside. Just like many cancer patients, Naveen is a true example that, in life, we are not always dealt the perfect hand. So, we have to make the best of what we have today and help others. His positive attitude and constant smile, day after day, despite enduring painful, frightening situations made us all very proud of him. We are with you dear boy, wherever you may be!


A RAY OF HOPE
During our regular survey conducted in Singappaguda village in the year 2011 we identified a 12-year-old boy Rasheed( NameCahnged) suffering from quadriplegia. Sameer was a fifth class student, one of the four siblings and was a very intelligent student in school. He led a normal life until one day when he fell in school and hurt his back. That put an end to the spark in his life as he progressively developed quadriplegia and was bedridden. With their meager earnings, his parents tried all the medical means to have him treated but all their attempts were in vain as Sameer went from bad to worse.

His parents had no other choice but to leave him alone and go for work. Sameer lay in the bed staring at the ceiling of the roof, with insects dancing around his rather lifeless frail body…he couldn't muster enough strength to even drive away the flies that alighted on his face. His younger sister who is in class three takes a break from her classes to feed her brother and take care of his biological needs. Her education is effected and the charm of childhood is lost because of the responsibility.

A ray of hope in the form of PRPCS made an appearance into the life of Sameer with intervention of our community volunteers. The team of PRPCS with our executive member Dr. Rohina Gupta and her friends started to support Sameer by providing him with nutrition supplements starting February 2012. The community volunteers motivated Sameer and his family members to use physiotherapy, which might improve the quality of Sameer's life. A few months into the treatment has shown great progress. He is now able to move his hand and legs and the sweet smile has been restored on his face. He appears to have regained hope in life and hopes that he will not depend on others for his routine activities in the coming future.


A PRECIOUS CHILD

Naveen ( Name Changed) is a thirteen year old developmentally and mentally retarded boy from Nyalata and was identified by our survey conducted in 2011. He is a very precious child to his parents as was born after many years of their married life. His cognitive levels are very poor and he does not have control over his bowl and bladder thereby making him totally dependent on others. His parents and his only younger sister are in tremendous grief and don't what to do. He aimlessly roams around in the village beating other children and getting beaten by others….

His parents tried most of the rehabilitation centers but all efforts were in vain as it was not consistent. More over the rehabilitation centers are beyond the reach of an common man as they are expensive, costing about a lakh INR (hundred thousand) per annum. The less expensive centers do not have a proper system to cater to the needs of such children, the staff to patient ratio is so low that it was even more detrimental to Srikanth. Undoubtedly the family needs help. We eagerly look forward to someone who can help this family.

     
 
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