So Much Love
by Christina Kroenert
My first visit to the cancer
care clinic in Rishikesh was a deeply touching
experience. I have been in contact with Ganga
Prem Hospice since 2007 and have followed the
development closely over the years, but I had
no idea what to expect this Sunday.
When we reached the place
of the clinic, there were already about 20 people
in the waiting area. The team-nurses, employees
of GPH and several volunteers-had already prepared
the different rooms with beds, tables, chairs
and cushions, etc. The medicines were also ready.
Tea and other drinks were offered as refreshments.
As soon as the doctors arrived
(on their free Sunday), the patients were called
to be examined and counselled. I was impressed
to see the professional way in which everything
was organised. It was great teamwork, and everyone
from the team knew what had to be done. It was
quiet and there was an atmosphere of trust. It
was obvious that the patients felt cared for and
understood. Over 60 people got help on this day.
Some were new, but others had been here before
and came to get medicines and further advice.
It was not only the medical
aspects-which were carefully considered by the
oncologists and palliative doctors-but the people
could also talk about their problems, worries
and fears with the members of the team.
I was especially touched
by the story of a man who had lost his only son
at the age of 12. Two years had passed since his
death, but the pain and the grief were written
on the father's face. He had taken a loan to help
his child, and the debts are still unpaid. His
two daughters are of marriageable age, but he
doesn't have any money to give them anything.
He came to the clinic and cried out of desperation.
The sympathy and perfect linking-up among the
members of the team could bring relief even in
this case. A woman was found who gave him some
money and promised to find him a better paid job
which would enable him to pay off his debts.
Many details gave me the
feeling that I had become part of a very special
project which is full of love and cares individually
for each person-in spite of the growing potential
of the organisation. I am very grateful for this
experience and I wish that more of such warmth
could be shown in other institutions like hospitals,
Christina Kroenert, Germany