GM Priya Hospital
Palliative Care at EHA...
Dignity in Life and Death
Suman was only 23 when she found a lump in her breast. She was currently breastfeeding her second child, so she didn't think much about it, went to a local doctor, and took the two-week course of medicine he prescribed.
When the lump didn't disappear, she went to a doctor in another city who also gave her medicine and told her to come back if it didn't help. When she finally returned to the hospital, the biopsy they performed showed that she had cancer. It was so advanced that it was inoperable, but she underwent six cycles of chemotherapy.
By the time GM Priya's Palliative Care Team found out about Suman, she was at home and in such severe pain that she was unable to sit up or talk. They gave her an injection for the pain, and when she was able to speak, she asked them why she was sick and if she would get better. She told them about her two young children. At this point, her left breast was rock hard, oozing pus, and throbbing with pain. She also had a lump in each armpit, indicative of cancer in her lymph nodes.
Because her husband and other family members were indifferent to her condition, the team spoke to Suman's brother about the severity of her medical situation and the futility of treatment. They promised to provide palliative care for Suman and relieve her pain. Despite the team advising against it, her brother took her to one more hospital in the hopes of a different diagnosis, but the doctors there sent her home too.
When the Palliative Care Team visited Suman after her return, they found her on a cot in the back yard, breathless and in excruciating pain. Her in-laws had moved her out of the house in the hopes that she would die more quickly. Suman had not slept for several nights, her gown was stained with blood, and she could barely talk.
The team consulted her brother, and he agreed that she should be brought to GM Priya for palliative care during her last days. The staff cleaned her wound and gave her pain medication, and then she wanted to talk about her worries and fears over her children, age six and three. She took the news of her prognosis bravely, and said she was not afraid of death. In the three weeks she remained at the hospital, she forged a special bond with each staff member, and kept up her spirits without complaint even amidst great discomfort.
Whenever a staff member went to visit Suman in her bed, she would ask about their well being before they could inquire about hers. When they choked up over her condition, she would hug them and tell them not to worry about her. The team prepared her family for her passing, and they came to visit often, bringing her children. Suman passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, and both her brother and husband were both immensely grateful for the care she had received at the hands of GM Priya's Palliative Care Team.
Suman's life and passing are not only a palliative care success story, but also a lesson for each staff member who learned so much from the caring, gentle woman who was brave to the very end.
At EHA's GM Priya Hospital...
Hope Is Restored
Neelabai, a 50-year-old woman, was shattered by her HIV positive diagnosis. She had complained of severe weakness, cough, and weight loss, but due to financial problems had put off visiting a doctor. HIV was an unheard-of ailment when she left her husband following domestic abuse in 1995, so she had never gotten herself tested.
To add to her worries, her daughter had been tortured by her son-in-law, who had eventually left the family after his wife died under suspicious circumstances suggestive of her having been set on fire.
Neelabai was the sole caretaker of her two grandchildren, aged 6 and 8, who had grown up calling her their mother. Neelabai's only support was her own mother, aged and bent in her 70s.
When Neelabai finally did visit the government hospital, she was diagnosed with HIV complicated by severe pulmonary tuberculosis. Following her diagnosis, she faced discrimination by the hospital staff, who refused to place her in a ward or give her medicines, forcing her to sleep on the floor. Unable to bear their callousness, Neelabai left the hospital without being given treatment, despite having stayed there for three days. She was told about EHA's GM Priya Hospital (GMPH) and was brought there as a last resort by her mother.
At GMPH, Neelabai was treated with love and respect. She was moved to tears with the care she was given, and in the few days she was admitted, she recovered enough strength to stand without support. The entire cost of her stay in the hospital was paid for by the hospital and the local church. When she left, she shook each staff member's hand, expressing her gratitude.
The palliative care team visited Neelabai and her family at home too, and enabled them to take advantage of free food rations offered by the government. The love and care Neelabai found at this hospital gave her the hope to push forward, and made her feel like she was worthwhile as a human being despite her illness.
Peace Before Passing
She was struggling with breathlessness and weakness when she was brought in to GM Priya Hospital. Gajarabai had been treated elsewhere for cancer, but she was now in an advanced stage.
The doctor examined her and the palliative care team began regular visits. They developed a strong relationship with the family over time and shared about God with them as well. It got to the point that when the team visited, if no one initiated prayer, the patient asked for it. Once Gajarabai understood that she was nearing death, she said she had worshiped so many gods, but they hadn't helped her, "so I will worship God only."
The day before her death the team visited, and Gajarabai was sleeping. They didn't want to disturb her, but she heard their voices and woke up to speak with them. She said that she was satisfied with their treatment and home care, and she asked for the pastor to come and pray with her one more time. With that, she expressed that after her last prayer and worship time, she was ready to die. That night, she passed away. We are thankful for faithful EHA staff who reach out to the lost with not only medical care and pain management services, but with hope.
Through Palliative Care, He's...
Appreciating Each Day
Though he knew he had leukemia, Madhukar sought no treatment, simply because he could not afford it. He was sad and depressed because he could not work due to his extreme fatigue. In the past, he had been employed as a cook during marriage parties and other large functions.
He was directed to GM Priya's palliative care by a fellow patient. During the first home visit, Madhukar was very nervous and anxious. He lived with his wife and two sons, both under 12 years old. Fortunately, his in-laws were supportive and had been helping the family financially. His wife enjoyed cooking local snacks, so the team asked her to make extras to sell to the hospital staff. This gave her hope that she could contribute to the household finances.
After a thorough check-up, laboratory tests showed Madhukar to be severely anemic. His brother-in-law obtained two pints of blood to be transfused. Pain medication was started to alleviate Madhukar's symptoms.
As the home visits increased and the palliative care team gained the trust of the family, Madhukar became more relaxed. The team shared about God and prayed with the family. Madhukar and his family have now accepted his condition, and they are happy with each day that passes that they can spend together. Madhukar often reads the Word from which he gains much peace.
His relatives are very grateful to GM Priya's palliative care team that has so actively supported them over the past year. One family member shared, "Our loved one is happy and able to live a normal life because of your loving care and home visits." It is a joy for the team to be involved so intimately in the lives of those who have so many difficult issues to face when diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Through God's Provision
New School Building is Constructed in Faith
They once met in a shed, but now they have a brand new school building. Stepping out in faith, they began construction of a new facility, and God provided. Reaching out to the
village children is a priority at GM Priya Hospital. In 1997 they saw a great need for an English Medium School for the rural children. So they started with five children and the resolve not to belittle a small beginning. Now the school goes up to the 10th standard (comparable to 10th grade in the U.S.) and includes computer education, sports, and inter-school programs. They strive to provide moral values and discipline for village children who might not otherwise have that input. With an enrollment today of 500, this school provides the opportunity to study in English rather than the students' native Hindi, which opens doors of opportunity to these children. They are largely from poor families and without EHA, and the support of donors like you, they would never have a chance to pursue this kind of education.
|Children at New School
HIV Awareness and Support
One patient helped recently at the Community Care Center for PLHA's (People Living with HIV Aids) was Asha. She arrived eight months pregnant and struggling with weakness. Suddenly,
|Asha and her baby
she went into labor in the night. It wasn't safe for her to go to the government hospital where she had planned to deliver, so they delivered the baby at the center. The staff made plans for the baby to receive Antiretroviral Therapy to help treat the virus.
India continues to struggle under the burden of caring for the world's second largest HIV/AIDS population. Other nations experience high infection rates as a percentage of their population, but the sheer number of the several million patients in India is overwhelming.
Because of this, the staff at GM Priya saw a critical need for HIV awareness. So they started a program in 30 surrounding villages and worked to help HIV positive widows and to promote job literacy. They also started Self Help Groups. In 2006 they got government funding for running the CCC for PLHA's. Reaching out in love to those who are often struggling with the stigma of this disease is just one way the staff at GM Priya shows the love of Jesus to those around them.
About GM Priya Hospital
GM Priya is one of the youngest hospitals in the EHA network. It was built in 1993 after the Latur earthquake struck the state of Maharashtra in Western India. Fifty-two villages were demolished and approximately 25,000 people died. The original setup included a 20-bed hospital with facilities for surgery, deliveries, and eye work, as well as an out-patient department and an in-patient department.
In 2006, change came to GM Priya. Ten of the twenty beds were allotted to the Community Care Center (CCC) for HIV positive patients. This was funded by the government, and it provided much-needed care for the many HIV/AIDS patients in the area. In 2008, all of the CCCs were placed under the direction of the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust funded by the National Aids Control Organization. Some of the directives for the program include providing care, support, treatment, and counseling, as well as positive prevention measures. They worked to get an ART Center started at the civil hospital in Latur so patients could get ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) medicine.
GM Priya also has an HIV awareness program in 30 surrounding villages. They work to empower women, especially HIV positive widows. Beginning Self Help Groups helped improve job literacy in this group of people. One outreach program distributed 100 quilts to the PLHA (People Living with HIV/AIDS) group. The Inner Wheel Ladies Club of Latur joined this function and decided to help by providing a nutritious diet for 10 HIV-positive children for one year.
Another side of GM Priya’s ministry is their school. In the mid-1990s they saw a great need for an English Medium School for the rural children in their area. So in faith they began the school with just five children in 1997. The Lord gave them the determination not to belittle a small beginning. By 2012, they had 500 children attending and a brand-new school building. The Rural Area Emmanuel Public School now goes up to the 10th standard and has facilities for computer education, sports, and inter-school programs. They strive to bring moral values and discipline to these village children who might not otherwise have that input. This school provides the opportunity to study in English rather than the students' native Hindi, which opens doors of opportunity to these children. They are largely from poor families and without EHA, and the support of donors like you, they would never have a chance to pursue this kind of education.