“‘The nursing aides can wheel his stretcher
(he is too tired to sit in the wheelchair now)
out to the garden,
where he can see the sunsets,
smell the flowers and mango blooms,
and hear the birds singing their hearts out.
His grandchild can run-up to his room with his school bag after each exam,
and sit with him on the hospital bed, sharing the day’s adventures.
They share smiles and some toffees
—guava and mango candies—salty, sweet, and sour;
reminiscent of the varied flavors of life—
ripe, well-lived, and shared.”

Dr. Savita Butola
Email: savitabutola@yahoo.com

Every person in palliative care has a story to share, a story of a compassionate journey….

Here we can read a young doctor’s journey in the field of Palliative Care…. a narrative that is so movingly knitted together with powerful emotions.

It unfolds the journey of a young doctor, who had to witness helplessly the pain and distress suffered by her father in his last moments of life. It was a spring season in India. When the nature was celebrating with colours, her soul was brimming with the loss.

Her mother’s last moments also were no different, in an ICU, suffering, and alone. She couldn’t even be with her parents in their last moments or with her siblings to support each other.

Dr. Savita Butola

But life gave her the opportunity to evolve. Years of learning and selfless hard work has made her capable of providing service to many, to alleviate their pain and suffering, to make their last days peaceful….

Two decades later, in another spring season, her team could provide comfort to an elderly father of a young soldier who approached her for help. Her life has a new meaning now! She made the impossible to happen! A space for palliative care within the strict boundary of BSF (boarder security force). Her efforts also led to establish a training center in palliative care for doctors and nurses working in BSF. Now palliative care is not an alien word for BSF and soldiers and family get the most needed service. Hats off to Dr. Savita Butola.

“‘The nursing aides can wheel his stretcher, (he is too tired to sit in the wheelchair now), out to the garden, where he can see the sunsets,
smell the flowers and mango blooms, and hear the birds singing their hearts out. His grandchild can run-up to his room with his school bag after each exam, and sit with him on the hospital bed, sharing the day’s adventures.


They share smiles and some toffees—guava and mango candies—salty, sweet, and sour; reminiscent of the varied flavors of life—ripe, well-lived, and shared”

Dr. Savita remembers the little things that her patient could enjoy (the young soldier’s father) in a comfortable environment.

“Outside my window, the same flowers are blooming again, and the air is filled with the same scent of sweet peas. I am at peace today. I am sure my parents are happy and at peace too. I dedicate my work to them at the end of each day — every day…”

Dr Savita ends her article with these lines…

Read here the full article published in Indian Journal of Cancer.

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