After 14 years after my Radiotherapy specialization when I was into family medicine running our own clinic along with Premila and pretty well at that I was a bit apprehensive to go to work in a newly opened super speciality hospital all glass and chrome and shiny in the oncology hematology department for a legend among medical oncologists Dr .V.P.Gangadharan
Today 17 years later when I look back I would consider meeting him in Regional cancer center Trivandrum where I went for an observer stint was the turning point in my profession .
To work in Dr VPG s team is a dream cum true for not only was he the busiest oncologist this side of the Vindhyas he was a rare celebrity among doctors .
He was well known to many and his human nature was mentioned by all but he was a highly educated trained and intelligent expert in his field that his humility rarely could hide .
Among st his excellent team one person stood out like a beacon lamp
Yes a lady of the lamp
The smiling lady of the lamp
She was senior nurse in charge of Dr VPG s department and handled the most complicated and serious cases in the famous fifth floor of the hospital
The patients there were a sprinkling of leukemia lymphomas solid tumors of all kinds most of them with multiple complications on complex treatment regimes with emergencies happening all the time .
You name it we had it .
In the early days when a nervous me would embark on bone marrow punctures ,or try to get a lumbar puncture correct at first shot ,or even insert a hickman central line ,or puncture the pleura for pleural tap there was one smiling philomina sister goading me all along ,telling me Dr.Hari you can do it and I did too .
sister was my friend as we were almost same age i think .
Philomina sister had health issues even those days she had kidney dysfunction diabetes etc but there would be no trace of any of this on her face bequeathed with an eternal smile .
She was quick too whenever needed in emergencies and knew every single happening in the ward
There was a silent understanding and mutual respect between Dr Gangadharan and philomina sister beyond their friendly banter .
Dr VPG relied on philomina sister to manage his wards most efficiently .
I did a year back when sister told me her health wasnt very good but her smile was still there and her work continued .
Today I heard she was no more !!
a humanitarian of the best kind a mother and a wife to her family and an angel to thousands of Dr VPG s patients .
Fifth floor in Lakeshore would always remind me of philomina sister , her smile will always adorn its rooms , her angelic aura will cast a benign shadow on its children , her cheer would ever be with her team .
Dr VPG would miss his right hand
May all the goodness in her life be spread to her family and her patients
May we remember this angel forever .