Yesterday I told you about Monika, her accident and how we are going to help her. Today I would like to tell you why exactly we chose the Artemis Hospital in Gurgaon, near Delhi for her.
For understanding this better, you may need to know that there are government hospitals in India that provide free treatment to patients. All you need to pay is the medicine – and even only some of that. It was in such a hospital in Delhi that Monika first got her treatment. So why are we not taking her to this government hospital when this could be much cheaper and they already know her case?
Firstly, government hospitals are overcrowded. Nobody is refused and for many it is the only possibility to receive medical treatment. This might obviously not be the reason for us not to go there if we knew that Monika would get the treatment she needed there. Big chances are however that she would not. Why? Because she did not when she was there before.
On 4th May, after the accident, Monika’s family was rejected at two hospitals in Vrindavan. They went to Mathura, where they stayed overnight. A horrible night for everyone – the doctors did not know what they should do and so Monika did not receive even painkillers. The next morning, the family continued to Agra, the next bigger city and after waiting for hours desperately for a doctor to attend them, Monika finally got some relief – ointments, bandage and a pain killer. It was clear already though, that they would have to go to Delhi – but how? Finally, Monika’s mother borrowed some money and called an ambulance to take them to Delhi! It was a journey of suffering through the different government hospitals and against their hopes, it was not over yet!
Monika’s uncle lives in Delhi, so they had some family support there but that is obviously only of little comfort when your daughter is lying in a general ward bed, her head swollen from the burnings, her skin open on many places and her eyes only showing her the difference of light and dark, nothing else. Instead of doing their work, the nurses scold the mother. A doctor comes by every day, the higher doctor every week. Every week the nurses get told off by the doctor – and they pass the cross words on to the desperate mother who is doing her best to clean the wounds of her daughter.
The burning question: how will it go on? They get sent home, stay with the uncle, come back to the hospital a week later and get admitted again because the wounds are too bad. On and off. They get medicine – some is being paid for by the hospital and other has to be paid by them. The mother’s brother helps again. He earns a bit more and knows they have nobody else to ask.
One day, the mother gets instructions to shave the thigh of her daughter and not feed her, in order to prepare her for surgery. They get hope that something is done for her. But nobody comes to get them. After hours of waiting a nurse tells them that they won’t have a surgery that day. Finally, the mother brings her daughter back home. She is told to come back after fourteen days but she cannot afford it.
Having heard all of this, we decided to take Monika to a hospital where we feel well. Where we know the service is good, the staff is always friendly and helpful and you are taken care of. The Artemis Hospital, the place where Apra was born and where we returned to in April, when I had to get my knee surgery done. We know several of the doctors there and have always had the best treatment we could imagine. The atmosphere is friendly, the place is clean and, most of all, you can trust.
That’s how we also trust the statement of the plastic surgeons that Monika could have been helped earlier. That a surgery in the first weeks after her accident, a cut at the skin around her neck to release the tension, would have helped her. That she would not be in as bad a situation now if that had been done.
The worst seven months of her life lie behind Monika and we will make the next ones a journey of treatment and recovery. The setting will not be dark and crowded wards where nurses shout, scold and are cross with patients. It won’t be hours of waiting in doubt whether a doctor will come for surgery or not. It will be a time that will surely contain some pain but what will prevail will be a feeling that everything is done for her to get better!
So if you wonder whether we consciously go a way where it will cost more, the answer is yes, we do. But it is the better way – and that’s why we will carry the cost, so that Monika can move her body and be happy!
You can support us in helping Monika! Here are all the details about her further treatment.