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.
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
Feb 5, 2014

Good Ambience & Serene Atmosphere for the Dying

A sparkling Diwali
A sparkling Diwali

Dear Friends,

This project was for US$20,000 and just today we have achieved that magic figure. Our most sincere thanks go out to all you donors for your Helping Hand.  Our thanks also to the Global Giving Foundation forf the platform that made this possible. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks.

In the previous three months we have admitted 322 end stage cancer patients and we have been able to relieve them of pain and give them a few peaceful last days after the trauma they have been through since the diagnosis of the disease. Our facility  on a 5 acre plot with 50 beds has a very good ambience.  There are 4 wards and 5 private rooms all very well ventilated that house these 50 beds. Over 70% of our patients come from very low economic backgrounds and for them, spending their last few days in ambient surroundings with a clean bed and timely food and medicine would have been something beyond their reach but made possible by us.  We have counsellors who speak with them and take care of their psycological and spiritual problems and physiotherapists to take care of other physical problems.  Shobha's is one such case.

Shobha was admitted to Karunashraya with breast cancer.  She came from a middle class family and her husband had retired from a bank. They had one son  who was unmarried  and working with a private firm.

When Shobha came to Karunashraya she was completely bedridden due to total muscle weakness. On admission palliative care was started giving her o lot of relief from pain. Her mental state was really pathetic.  She was in a state of depression due to her immobility. She was totally incommunicative.  All that she wanted was to be on her feet and be able to move on her own. She thought that this was impossible and that she would have to spend the remaining days immobile and in bed.  She dreaded the days ahead.  Our counselors would talk to her telling her to be positive  and to think that it was possible to walk again. It was then that the physiotherapist came in  and with the exercises she was put through, she was able to sit up with help.  From here she slowly progressed to wheelchair ambulation, to walking with the support of a walker and then without the walker.

Shobha was at Karunashraya for 2 months and all of her distress causing  symptoms were brought under control.  She was then discharged and taken home.  When leaving from here she walked out on her own two feet  without help but with confidence and a sense of satisfaction.  She was readmitted after a month and died peacefully at Karunashraya.

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The festival of lights - Diwali was celebrated at Karunashraya on the 2nd of November.  The 'ivolunteer' group came in and lit lamps in all the buildings, provided a lot of entertainment and distributed sweets to everyone.  All the patients were happy to take part in the festivities.  Such events are encouraged by us as a part of 'Diversional Therapy'.  For a few hours the patients are concentrating on the activities going on around them and even partaking in them.

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World Hospice Day is celebrated the world over on the second saturday of October.  It is the main event of the year for creating awareness and also for fund raising.  This time around we had hosted four one act rib tickling comedies and also released a souvenir at the event which brought in some funds.

Patients watching Diwali entertainment
Patients watching Diwali entertainment
Ambient surroundings
Ambient surroundings
A scene from the Play
A scene from the Play

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