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The tenacious trio traverse Trivandrum

It was an early departure for Trivandrum aka Thiruvananthapuram today so as to meet the kidney patients at 9.30. We support some 27 of them with varying amounts of money so as to help them to pay for immunosuppressant drugs or dialysis. Such things are essential if they are to survive, but the cost can be beyond them. We would like to do more, but our resources are limited, so they get the cost of two or three dialyses a month or about a third of the cost of the drugs. They included a young girl who couldn’t have been older than two. All of them are carefully vetted by Philip so as to ensure that they are genuinely in need of help from us – and ultimately from you. Sadly, some of them were back on dialysis after their transplants failed (they normally do after a number of years; we have been helping some of these people for over a decade).

Some shopping followed, including refreshing HHI’s stock of coconut monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil). The it was back to the hospital to meet our permanent bystander Shibu who serves patients who have no-one to look after them and ensures that they get treated. Often he has up to a dozen, but at the time of our visit he had just four. Matthew had a suppurating wound to his leg – he will be transferred to a psychiatric ward which is better able to deal with him when his leg has healed. Another was from Tamil Nadu; he had been beaten up, leaving him with a leg fracture which will need operating on when the wound has healed, as well as a minor fracture in his neck. He was in a bad way. A third, Rajendran was much more lucid, and was full of praise for the help and support that he is receiving from Shibu. He comes from Kollam, but had been moved down to Trivandrum so as to get free treatment. A coolie (daily labourere), he had been in a motorcycle accident leaving him with a broken leg – when the wound has healed he also will need an operation. The final patient is in intensive care, so we weren’t able to visit him.

As usual there were a number of requests for help from other patients. One was a woman who needed medicines for a heart condition. The other was Binu, who is one of “our” kidney patients, who also has a heart condition: to cap it all, he had been in a motor accident recently, leaving him with a broken leg which could not be operated on because of his heart. We were able to provide some help to both of them. We also paid off a bill that Shibu had run up buying essential supplies for his patients – Dettol, pillows, sheets, basic clothing and so on. You don’t get much provided in an Indian Government hospital!

After which it was time to come back to a very welcome cup of tea and plate of ripe pineapple. Today has been exceptionally hot and humid.

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