Expanding horizons towards an independent living

Ms. Jyothi Jayan Warrier, Kerala

At our center, the Pain and Palliative Care Society in Thrissur, we provide Palliative care and supportive care to both cancer and non-cancer patients and their caregivers, through our Out-patient, In-patient, Home care, Hospice, and Physiotherapy and rehabilitation units.

On the occasion of World Youth Skills Day, I would like to present to you a story when we ventured beyond the ‘traditional’ boundaries of palliative care to render quality palliative care for our patients and their families, as we recognize and acknowledge the whole gamut of palliative care.

Patients making umbrella as part of our
empowerment program

Rajesh (name changed), was a young boy when he met with an unfortunate accident at an amusement park ride, one evening. A spinal cord injury from the accident had left him bed ridden. After several operations at multiple hospitals over several years, he came to our center for rehabilitation / physiotherapy services, bedridden.

We realized that to improve Rajesh’s quality of life, we had focus equally on enabling him to function physically and independently, and also restore his confidence and willpower to face the various challenges that life would throw at him. While at our care at the rehabilitation center, Rajesh graduated to now using a wheel chair and was also equipped with learning various skills such as making hand wash soaps, dish wash soaps and floor cleaning detergents. This new skill allowed him to earn an income and become independent.

It is so heartwarming to share that after years of physical and psychological support at our physiotherapy unit, an empowered Rajesh has now become a volunteer himself and regularly conducts rehabilitation camps to help empower and motivate others who share a similar journey such as his. We are so proud that with our support, Rajesh braved the odds and resumed studies and is now pursuing his higher studies in Germany, all by himself.

The name of the above mentioned patient has been changed for privacy issues; yet his story is nothing less than inspiration to us as we watched him become empowered and independent. Individuals like Rajesh keep me and my team motivated to continue expanding the horizons for our palliative care patients.

About the Author: Ms Jyothi Jayan is a Student Volunteer Coordinator at the Pain and Palliative Care Society in Thrissur, Kerala.

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