Outside Matoshree, a restless army of anxious Sainiks stand guard, hanging onto every word uttered on the condition of their beloved leader Balasaheb Thackeray. Raucous roars frequently express their unease and fear.
It’s a different world within the fortress. Here, on the second floor of the Thackeray residence, a team of vigilant physicians is hard at work. Shielded from the public eye, they doggedly keep a close watch over the ailing Shiv Sena patriarch, devoting every waking hour to his treatment and care.
Leading the team are doctors Jalil Parkar, Prakash Jiandani and Abdul Samad Ansari, who have been stationed at Matoshree for the past 48 hours now.
They are in constant consultations with a team of other specialists, who are called in for assistance whenever the need arises. This team consists of cardiologist Dr Ajit Menon, anaesthetist Dr Satish Kulkarni, urologist Dr Hemant Pathak and dermatologist Dr Chetan Oberai. Each member of this high-profile team is attached to Lilavati hospital.
Dr Jalil Parkar, Physician
Dr Jalil Parkar has been associated with the Thackeray family since 2009. Dr Parkar completed his education from Grant Medical College and later went to the United States of America for his fellowship. He has been with Lilavati hospital since 2000.
Dr Abdul Samad Ansari, Intensivist
Dr Samad Ansari completed his post graduation in Anaesthesia from Bhopal. He joined Lilavati hospital around eight years ago and completed his post graduation in Critical Care. He has been associated with the Thackeray family since 2009.
Dr Prakash Jiandani, Critical care specialist
Dr Prakash Jiandani did his PG at Sion hospital. After obtaining an MD in medicine in 1990, he joined as a Lecturer and was subsequently appointed as Associate Professor at the same institute. He has been associated with the Thackerays since 2009.
A team of three trusted male nurses, who have been tending to Thackeray for the past five years, is assisting the team of doctors at Matoshree.
The Sena supremo has been kept on a waterbed to avoid the onset of bedsores, and the nurses are working round the clock to keep them at bay.
While Dr Parkar is in charge of Balasaheb’s pulmonary system, Dr Jiandani and Dr Ansari are responsible for critical care. According to sources, Thackeray has been taken off IV fluids. Nor is he being ministered any kind of liquid diet.
The second floor of Matoshree has been converted into a makeshift Intensive Care Unit (ICU), to which entry has been restricted.
Various life-saving machines and monitors have been installed and kept on stand-by on this floor for use in case of any emergency. Needless to say, all the medication required for his treatment is stored on the floor.
Each member of the team tending to Balasaheb leaves Matoshree only once a day, and returns within hours.
The arrival and departure of the slew of VVIPs to Matoshree does not affect their routine in any way. The celebrities and political leaders visiting the residence are not allowed on the second floor, and have to depart after meeting family members.
Members of the team are in close coordination with each other, a strong spirit of camaraderie holding them together as they work under intense pressure. The Thackeray family at Matoshree arranges for their meals and other basic requirements.
Speaking to MiD DAY, a close family friend of one of the doctors said, “Being doctors, their first priority is the welfare of the patient, and their personal lives come later. Their families are aware of the gravity of the situation and hence, are offering their complete support”.