*SOUND ON* “As I see him on non-invasive ventilation his chest rises and falls. He is alerted by the nurse and doctors-“ Your daughter is here”. He opened his eyes and smiled, putting up a brave front as if his breathing was effortless.
I explained to him about going on the ventilator- it was the only option. ‘Does he want it?’, I was posing the question to the best Cardiologist and Diabetologist I had ever known. He was listening even as they told me, his heart was pumping less.
He looked at me and asked for his wife. I video called her and his face lit up as she assured him of a recovery. I then placed a call to my kids- they conveyed the same. He then looked at me and nodded in acceptance for the ventilator.
I blessed him and asked him to be strong while I put a cross on his forehead. He shaked his head with a smile, looked into my eyes one last time, crossed his arms and shut his eyes tight. At this moment, my heart was the weakest it can be.
Exactly a week later, I lost my biggest pillar of strength and support. A man who had celebrated his birthday that same month. A man who took a promise from me to look after his mother even as he said she will outlive him. A mother who still believes her favourite son is alive and well.
My angst will always be my guilt. Did he know and resign himself or did he have so much confidence in my decision? This time he won while I was defeated. Knowledge is our power and also our greatest disability.
As I recover from covid, myself, I know my mistake and his- we both had let down our guard. The mask being the single most important entity besides distancing. I had given up on N95, face shield and PPE. How long? Enough is enough. The vaccine saved me. In addition, my lifestyle did play a major role.
Six months are about to pass but the memories linger. I’m grateful even as I know my story is one among a million painful ones, for every life is precious, that which walked at different measures of time, leaving an indelible mark on their loved ones.” said Dr. Priya Selvaraj
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