Bangalore Hospice Trust - Karunashraya

Extending free care to terminally ill cancer patients and adding life to their days, not days to life. Giving care once cure is not possible.
Mar 16, 2015

Love & Care for Advanced Stage Cancer Patients

Sister with a Patient
Sister with a Patient

It is almost three months since this project got underway and generous donors have contributed over US$2500/- towards this cause.

At Karunashraya, in the last three months we have admitted 375 patients, all of whom were in the last stages of cancer. The same period saw 179 deaths and a few patients discharged when they were feeling better. These patients come back later when the disease progresses further.  The patients  and their families are happy to see the patient get a clean bed, food and medicines in time and all this without a financial burden.  It is not only these things that comfort the patient. He is under so much of stress along with his immediate family members. The counselors we have at the Hospice do a tremendous job releiving them of this stress. Many times we find them not accepting the situation and hoping to find a cure. It is a tough job convincing them and getting them to come out of the denial stage and then the acceptance.  

Joseph's was one such case. He was just 22 years old, had obtained his Masters in Business Administration and about to start working.His father was a daily wage earner just managing to support his family's basic requirements. Joseph used to load sugarcane bundles onto lorries in the night for which he used to be paid Rs.3000/- per month i.e say 60 to 70 US dollars.  He was elated when he finished as he could now earn well  and look after his parents who had toiled so hard all these years. Then the dreaded disease struck and Joseph was diagnosed with lung cancer which was already in the last stage. They spent around Rs.3 lakhs(US$6000) on treatment taking loans from various sources. Both patient and family were in denial until the counselor did a few sessions with them.After the acceptance, the mother was always in tears so much so the father did not have any family member he could talk and share his sorrows with. He never spoke about his thoughts and no one saw him crying at any time.  The counselor took him aside and when she asked him why he was holding all his feelings inside, he said he had no one to talk to. After a few minutes with the counselor, he broke down and cried his heart out.  Joseph was their only son and their only hope for their twilight years. In less than a fortnight Joseph passed away but his father keeps in touch with the counselor and she is able to comfort him and his wife whenever they feel the need and call her.

We sincerely appreciate the thought behind the donations all of you have made which helps us look after these suffering patients giving them much needed solace in their last days.

A view of the facility
A view of the facility
Karunashraya
Karunashraya

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Jul 16, 2014

Helping Hands for a Move On

Hello  Friends,

We have been having a rush of patients coming in to Karunashraya and we have had to shift some staff whose offices could be converted to wards for patients.  This way we have accomodated five more beds and now there is a total of 55 beds.  More awareness creating events, programs on the T.V., articles in newspapers etc have brought more patients to Karunashraya seeking pain relief through Palliative Care.  The constant requirement for more beds  has made our Board of Trustees decide to build two more wards which will mean 24 more beds.  Work on this project is just about to start off as we have got permission from the authorities for putting up the building. In the six months January to June 2014  we have cared for 654 patients admitted to Karunashraya and another 113 under our Home Care Services.

On the 1st of May 2014, Karunashraya celebrated Memorial Day as it was on this dat that our first patient was admitted  in the year 1999.  This Day is mainly for the patients, the nursing staff who take care of them and also for the relatives of ex-patients and a number of  them turn up to celebrate the day with us. Entertainment and high tea are provided to all attendees and the highlight of the evening is usually the two minute talk by two present patients, and two expatient relatives.

In May the 10K Marathon took place and this is a platform for NGO's to create awareness and also to raise funds. We had a couple of MNC's whose staff ran for us.

We are getting a new set of curtains for the wards and the money that comes in through this platform has helped us to do this. Our sincere thanks to you donors for keeping  this project going.

Feb 19, 2014

Almost acheived - our target of USD20,000

Our Home Care Team at a Patients House
Our Home Care Team at a Patients House

In the months November 2013 to January 2014 we have admitted 321 patients and ensured an almost painfree and comfortable last few days for them, totally free of financial worry.  To enable us to acheive this the donations made by you, donors, towards this project has been a major contributor.  We require only around USD1,750 more to complete this project which I am sure will be received shortly. Thank you, thank you very much for reaching out to us.

This is the story of Rajam, a flower seller aged 48 years who was suffering from breast cancer.  She was married off when she was 13 years old and had 4 children.  Of these, only the youngest daughter was unmarried. Her husband had expired two years ago after a heart attack. Her main concern was her daughter's marriage. When  she was diagnosed with cancer, her daughter was not ready to get married as she wanted to take care of her mother. The cancer was in the fourth stage  and as the pain became severe, Rajam was admitted to Karunashraya.  With regular medication and dressings  of the open wounds, Rajam got the much wanted relief.  But then she was stressed out thinking of her daughter's marriage.  The  counselor then counselled the daughter, impressing on her the importance of listening to her mother and doing as per her wishes as this would remove the stress factor in her mother's mind.  The daughter agreed and soon her mother regained some strength and they took her home. The engagement took place but it was broken off when the boy came to know of her mother's condition.  He was upset that they had not told him before the engagement. and  was worried that the daughter may also get cancer, believing that cancer is hereditary. When the engagement was cancelld Rajam's condition worsened and with the increase in pain she was back at Karunashraya. When the counselors learnt about what had happened, they called up the boy and educated him about cancer. They then counselled the girl and convinced her to go to work.Rajam's daughter and the boy were in touch again and he agreed to marry her.  Once Rajam heard about this she was relieved.  She expired the next day and now her daughter will be getting married only after a year as is the custom prevailing here.    

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World Hospice Day is celebrated the world over on the second saturday of October.  It was celebrated by us by hosting four one act plays at a prominent auditorium here. It was a successful day for creating awareness and also for fundraising.

On the 21st of December we held our Annual Day.  The invitees were the patients, their attenders, our Volunteers and our staff. A little entertainment was arranged for the attendees and this was provided by our nursing staff. The songs and dances were well practised and executed. Getting our nurses to do this kind of activity is a change from their routine work and acts as a stress buster for them.  The nursing staff all stay on the premises in the hostel rooms.  All day they are working with the sick and dying patients and when they go back to their hostels there is no change of scene as the girls are discussing what the patient said, what the attender wanted etc etc. Doing something out of their regular routine helps them to relax.

Karunashraya Entrance
Karunashraya Entrance
Doctor with Patient
Doctor with Patient

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