Healing Hearts and Communities
Kala* lives in Vellore District with her three energetic boys. Last year, her 29-year old husband, a daily wage labourer, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. CMC’s Department of Palliative Medicine looked after him, subsidising his care and medications. Kala was inconsolable when he passed away. She herself suffers from a seizure disorder. How would she support her children, look after her own health needs and repay loans her husband had taken?
She moved forward bravely, selling their house and moving to her parents’ home. “I do not want to be an additional burden,” Kala decided, “I will find work and support my children”. Our Palliative Care team spent time engaging with Kala to find a livelihood option to suit her skills and help her become financially independent.
Together they decided that she could rear a cow. There was grazing land at a water canal nearby and she could sell milk locally. A generous donation enabled the purchase of a brown cow. Kala’s little boys were especially excited. They are now doubly blessed as their cow gave birth to a calf last week!
Our Palliative Care team believes in a holistic approach, catering to the physical, social, mental and spiritual needs of patients and their families. On World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, we invite you to support a bereaved family. A gift of ₹20,000/- will help us care for a dying patient and rehabilitate their family. You can make a difference for someone like Kala, who needs a helping hand after losing a loved one.
*Name changed and photographs used with consent. Story and details contributed by the Department of Palliative Medicine
Palliative Care in CMC
Over the years, the team has identified over 150 children and/ or families that needed help when a key family member had passed on. Instead of dropping out of school to do odd jobs, the children were motivated to continue their schooling. Their books stationary and uniform are also funded to encourage the children to stay in school.
When the team visits a patient at their home, they are given essentials like a mattress, mosquito net, pill boxes and the like, based on the need. For example, a mosquito net is given to prevent flies/ mosquitoes form sitting on wounds. This gives comfort and dignity to the patient.
At every visit, the team insists on the neccessity to take their medicines regularly. The medications are provided at subsidized cost to ensure their otherwise difficult symptoms are relieved. The care givers at home are trained and empowered to care for their loved ones, relieving the patient of the pain and other symptoms. This also ensures continuing care between visits.
A gift of ₹ 3,000 will help support a patient’s medication for one month.
The multidisciplinary team in the Department of Palliative Medicine consists of six doctors, three nurses, one psychologist, one social worker, one chaplain and a secretary. We provide medical, nursing, psycho-social and spiritual care to patients and families
Around 20-25 patient visits are made each month (approximately 300 visits per year) and many patients are visited more than once.
The number of individuals supported in a year is about 150.
Your gifts will help the Department of Palliative Medicine expand their services. The team would like to to support patients with more home care accessories. This will give a dignified and a peaceful time at home. We urgently need 10 mattresses for bed bound palliative patients.
Like Kala, many families have received holistic care from the Department of Palliative Medicine in CMC Vellore. The joy of it all is when the fruit of the seed sown is seen many many years later. A man who lost his wife was helped to set up a small shop in his neighborhood. Ten years later, his little shop has grown and flourished. He now sells more items than when he started.
It is success stories like these that keeps the team motivated to help another family in need. You can read Suji’s story here. She and her daughter were able to move on in life with the support of the team at the Department of Palliative Medicine.
‘….whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’