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.
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.
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.
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.
Another quarter has gone by and so fast. Going by our records, we have had 302 admissions in the last quarter, which means relief to 302 patients and their families. These patients have come to us from all walks of life. Once here they are all on an equal footing and receive the same care and attention as meted out to other patients. Their ages vary from 7 to 75 but thier requirement is more or less the same - relief from pain and suffering. In addition to the medical care, the counselling by our 3 counsellors does a world of good for the patients as well as their family members.
One recent example is the case of Sarojamma.
Sarojamma (name changed) was diagnosed with cervical cancer and when she was admitted at Karunashraya she was 60 years old. She had three daughters and a son, who ten years ago, married a girl who was not of their caste. This estranged him from his family and he had not met his mother or sisters since then.
When he heard of his mother’s plight, he wanted to come and see her but the other members of the family did not want him to come as he had not looked after his mother for the last ten years. The patient was insisting on meeting him especially after knowing about her prognosis. The counselors did a lot of counseling to convince the sister and the rest of the family that it was important for the patient to see her son. Eventually they agreed and the son came with his wife to see Sarojamma.
It was a very emotional first meeting and after that the son came often to see his mother. The patient was discharged after a few days and taken home for a month. Now there is no tension amongst the family members. Sarojamma came back to Karunashraya after a month and is happy here as she is comfortable with the medical facilities available and her family members visit her often. Counselling has made all the difference in this case.
The donations we received for bedsheet sets and curtains have been put to use and the wards are all pleasant and there is good ambience for the patients. In hospitals the bedsheets last only for 6 to 8 months due to constant laundering. So, do keep the donations coming in to enable us to get the next set when required.
We wind up for now with sincere appreciation from the patients and us for the donations received till date.
Our projects are progressing smoothly and we wish to place on record our sincere appreciation for the help received from all of you. In the last three months we have been able to help 259 patients who were admitted here. While they were here they wer releived of their pain and symtoms causing discomfort were attended to so that in 3 or 4 days time they were all comfortable. The ambience in the wards improved manifold with the pleasant green bedsheets and new curtains that we were able to provide with the donations received for this purpose. On behalf of the staff and the patients who have been in the wards we send our heartfelt thanks to all of you.
4th February is celebrated as World Cancer Day and we had arranged a small get-together for patients, their attenders, past patients relatives, our volunteers and well wishers. Some entertainment (dances, music and a skit) and high tea is also provided. Patients are wheeled to the stage area and they too enjoy the diversion from their usual routine.
Ms Roshni, a student, thought of a novel idea to collect funds for NGOs. She made all arrangements at a big mall in the centre of the city and shaved off her lovely locks !! She collected Rs.2.2 lakhs for Karunashraya.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who have reached out to us. Do keep spreading the word about Karunashraya.
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