Doctor travels 200 km with ailing boy to treat him for free

Mar 14, 2014, 08:15 IST | Anuradha Varanasi

On a trip home, Dr Ghabhale was accosted by a labourer desperate for the diagnosis and treatment of his son; the doctor brought them to Mumbai so he could help them

With only a few hundred rupees in his pocket to go with the hope in his heart that his son’s health would improve, Ganpat Ghorpade travelled over 200 km with his wife and ailing son to arrive in Mumbai in January. Giving the family reassuring company in this journey was Dr Yeshwant Ghabhale of civic-run Sion hospital, who had promised to shoulder the responsibility of treating the three-year-old child in the city.

Peace, at last: After his second surgery last month, Sahil is recuperating in the general ward

“The boy’s father works as a daily wage labourer in a remote village in Ahmednagar. I met the family when I was visiting the place. After seeing the child’s sonography report, I noticed that he looked pale, had abdominal distention and that he had developed bacterial infection, due to which his right kidney had been affected,” said Dr Yeshwant Ghabhale, associate professor in the Paediatrics department at the hospital.

Ghabhale, who did not want to be photographed, added, “The boy needed to be admitted to a hospital with adequate facilities and with the help of some well-wishers, we managed to raise Rs 2,000 after which he was brought to Mumbai.”

After he was brought to the city, Sahil was diagnosed with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) which results in the flow of urine in the reverse direction from the bladder back into the kidneys. In a healthy system, urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the bladder.

Since January 17, when Sahil was admitted to the paediatrics ward, he has undergone two major operations to treat the defect and the bacterial infection affecting his kidney. While the second surgery was conducted in mid-February, the young boy continues to recuperate in the general ward. “Sahil is still in some pain, but we are hoping he will recover soon. My wife is expecting our second child. After her delivery and when Sahil completely recovers, we will head back to our village,” added Ganpat.

A City both cruel and kind

While Dr Ghabale’s generosity has overwhelmed the family, their stay in Mumbai for their son’s treatment has not been without event.

While social workers were mobilising the funds required for the surgeries, father Ganpat was  robbed of R500 on a trip to the chemist’s shop in Sion to buy medicines.

“I tried to convince the father to file an FIR as it was a substantial amount for the family, but he refused,” said Dr Ghabhale.

Despite this setback, Ganpat said his family was able to survive in the city because of the way in which the hospital’s staff rallied around them.

“This is our first time in Mumbai and we are grateful for the help we have received. We have been living from hand to mouth as I earn barely Rs 100-Rs 200, that too when I find some work,” he said.

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