Every Life is Precious!
This is a story of a 130 kgs guy who stayed in his bed for a couple years, had broken sleep at night because of his sleep apnea and had a clot in his legs and lungs in he past that needed prolonged treatment. He was living with a huge hernia for the past decade the surgery of which he kept denying. Not because he was afraid but because he had lost interest in life after his daughter’s marriage failed a few years back.
One day, his hernia ruptured and stool started pouring out of his wound. This prompted the family to force him to the hospital.
When I first saw him, he was, to me a challenging case. A bed ridden 130 kgs guy with such dangerous medical diseases and a burst hernia are not any surgeon’s delight. They are the ones who give us bad sleep. There could be potential wound infections, breakdown, heart attacks, respiratory failure, lung clots or even death in these cases.
Our team had to think and work hard to get him optimised and operate on him. We resected half a meter of his colon which had given way along with his bad skin. Fortunately, we could do all this with keyhole surgery and apply a vacuum dressing at the wound. This helped in minimising the trauma of surgery and avoiding making an anus in the abdomen.
Ten days later mostly in ICU, he was sent home.
All along, the gentleman was placid and even indifferent. Clearly, he looked depressed.
When he came for his first visit, I told him that although the worst was over, he would have to show some interest in life. I asked him him to ask God for courage and strength to get back to life, which I told him was precious.
And this is what he replied- “I did not realise my life was precious. But the way your team fought for my life, it made change my opinion. Now, I think it is. I promise I will try my best to get back. I will live fo what I have- my grand daughter.”
I don’t know what happens from here but few things this man taught us-
There is always something to live for.
We doctors can heal more than a wound.
And yes, every Life is precious!