Never Give Up!

“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela.

Our lives are interspersed with struggles. Women in particular face it almost every day – at home, workplace, society, etc. Nevertheless, being hopeful and overcoming struggles brings forth the champion inside. We often come across such champions in our day-to-day lives without even realizing it. Here is one such story of a woman, which may seem ordinary to many but gives hopes to several to stand their ground.

A nurse lived with her husband and two children in a small town in Bokaro. She was dedicated to her job. She understood and was aware of the responsibilities that came with the job. Her life was quite simple. Hospital to home and home to hospital was her daily routine. She was happy with her job and her family. However, life is not always full of the joys of spring. She fell extremely sick one day. She felt excruciating pain below stomach in the abdomen. On diagnosis, it was found she was suffering from a severe uterus condition. The doctor told her she would have to undergo surgery to avoid her condition from getting worse. The surgery had to take place as soon as possible to avert any kind of complications.

The thought of surgery can be scary. Despite being in the medical profession and understanding the urgency she felt scared and was considering not going forth with it. Yet at the thought of her two children and family she gathered all her courage and decided to go ahead with it. As a nurse, she was able to benefit from the staff concession. Thereby, getting her surgery done in same hospital where she worked.

Post-surgery her pain started to decrease in the next few days. But after a week, she felt that same excruciating pain. At first, she brushed it off thinking, that it could be post-surgery pain. But when it continued to pain for next few days, she could sense something was wrong. So, she went back to the hospital for follow-up. Her doctor recommended her an ultrasound test. When the results came, nothing was found. She was confused. She was quite sure that something would get caught in the ultrasound test. The doctor gave her painkillers for it and recommended another week’s rest. The week went by, but the pain only heightened.

Seeing her condition getting only worse, her family suggested to get a second opinion. So, she decided to visit the nearest city for checkup. There as well she was given an ultrasound test. The results shocked her. They found a presence of a foreign body in the results. On more examination it was found that a piece of gauze was left from the previous surgery. It was horrifying. That piece of gauze had rotten and made a hole inside. She contacted her hospital authorities from the previous surgery immediately to enquire about this and how did this not come out it their ultrasound results. The hospital authorities denied that such a mistake could take place in their surgery and claimed their ultrasound report could not be wrong. Instead, they insisted that it could not be a piece of gauze but something else as a result of her own carelessness. The allegations shocked her. She could not believe the hospital where she works would do something like this to her. All sorts of thoughts started running through her mind. If this could happen to her and seeing how her situation was being handled, then there may be possibilities this could happen to other patients in that hospital.

On the other hand, her health was deteriorating day by day. The doctor from the latest examination told her that they must perform an immediate surgery to take out the rotten piece of gauze otherwise she might lose her life. Choice was not an option now. The surgery was performed, and the rotten piece of gauze was successfully taken out. But for her body to recover from her second surgery itself became a challenge since the carelessness from the previous surgery had worsened her uterus condition as well. She was hospitalized for two months. After that she was brought home, but she had to remain in resting. Her condition would not allow her to work.

All her suffering made her determination to make the hospital pay for the distress stronger. Therefore, she sued the hospital and the surgeon on charges of negligence and mishandling in her surgery and fabricating her reports. The hospital authorities denied the charges and kept trying to quiet her down with money, threatens and various other tactics. A lot of other organizations associated with the hospital were shaming her for defaming the hospital in spite of being a staff. By then, most of her savings and her husband’s savings had gone into her treatment. With the legal battle at hand, she was vulnerable but there was so much at stake. Despite the harassment she was facing she stood her ground. She had faith in the law. Her family had faith in her and supported her.

In the end, her perseverance paid off. After 5-6 long years of legal battle, of procuring evidences and testimonies, she finally won the case. It was indeed a difficult battle, but she was able to show the true face of the hospital authorities to the people. The court imposed a heavy amount of fine on the hospital and ceased the surgeon’s license who had performed the first surgery. The hospital was also ordered to pay compensation and early basic salary alongside all facilities to the her as staff of the hospital. She didn’t need to go back to work as her health conditions wouldn’t allow.

Now, when she looks back despite of all the troubles, she was glad she never gave up. Her health will be stable, but she will need constant care. But her fight for justice made her an inspiration in her locality. Who would have known, a simple woman with a will to get justice would be successful in bringing down an unjust institution! Surely, where there’s a will, there is a way.

Priya Xaxa

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