The Best Gift From A Mother To Her Daughter Who Died
A Bandra based Romila Palliative Care, a mother’s gift to her daughter that provides free medical and psychological support to the people from society. In 2013, when Dr. Armida Fernandez’s daughter Romila Fernandez failed to resist cancer in her early thirties due to lack of emotional support, pain management and counseling during her last phrase, mother got brainstormed.
This year in January, Fernandez opened a voluntary care facility for people who are willing to volunteer and doctors who are willing to help providing free serviced to patients who are suffering from life threatening health conditions like dementia, cancer, physical handicapped and paralysis. “Although we have best of medical care, the comfort and quality support is missing from life-limiting diseases. There is a big gap in palliative care. I decided I did not want my daughter’s death to go in vain,” Fernandez, age 74, said. “If we needed pain management services, it wasn’t easy. There is no counseling for a family on how to cope with end-of-life care or bed sores management,” she added talking about how difficult her daughter’s last days were.
The centre is in a leafy Bandra lane, where a bungalow is converted into 2BHK palliative centre with light colored walls and bright furniture. A counselor sits in one room to help its patients with discussing their problems while the other has a doctor waiting for a patient who needs medical help. The verandah is then covered with chairs for giving the patients a relaxing environment.
According to Pouruchisti Wadia, assistant project director, a volunteer undergoes six-day training by Tata Memorial Hospital before joining. The care centre has 2 full time doctors and 2 nurses, 21 volunteer and 4 volunteer doctors, they cared for 37 patients.
The patients are referred from Holy Family Hospital, Bandra or by the doctors who do the voluntary work at care centre. “They can visit the home of a patient at their convenience. The aim is to provide the patient someone they can talk to, someone who can provide emotional support.”
Fernandez wants other people to be benefited from what she learned from her daughter’s death. She is credited with starting the city’s first human milk bank. She is now trying to convince Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to help patients in services for palliative care in major hospitals.
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