Saturday, 26 November 2011

Lionel - Part 2

Lionel was admitted at one of the large municipal hospitals in Mumbai.

He was HIV positive.  He needed orthopaedic surgery.

Lionel's boss who runs a well-known nursing home first promised him that he would do the operation.  But then he backed out.   He filed and accident report and sent Lionel to the govt. hospital.

It was almost a death sentence.

Lionel was taken to the hospital.  And dumped.

No one came to help him.  He was alone.

The doctors didn't touch him.  The nurses treated him like dirt.  Ward boys?  Forget it.  Lionel said the doctors acted like small time mafiosi.

Lionel was eventually shunted out onto a balcony.  Alone.

There he lay in pain.  Unable to move.  No one fed him.  His hair grew.  He weakened.

Somewhere in his misery he prayed.  He had never been the praying type.  But in his weakness and misery he called out to Jesus.

Over a thousand kms away things started to move.  Lionel's mother realised her son was missing.  She tried to contact people and got no info.  She finally called a relative who lives in Thane and asked her to see if she could track down Lionel.

It was this lady who found Lionel.  She brought one of her nephews with her and they searched for Lionel in the govt. Hospitals.  Then they found Lionel.  He was emaciated.  He had not passed stool for 2 weeks. 

Lionel's relatives were shocked to see him. Shocked at the knowlege that he was HIV positive.  But even more dismayed by the near death situation they found him in.

Together they started to look after Lionel.  Gave him a bath and a shave.  Fed him.  Talked to him.  Heard his story.  He had never met them when he came to Mumbai.  But now they were there for him.

I got a call from one of them a few days after they found him.  They were looking for options.  A place where Lionel could get his surgery done.  A place where he could recuperate. 

We talked to Lionel's cousin and told him that it was not just a matter of getting a surgery done - Lionel also needs a place to recuperate.  A place to live and make a new life. Lionel needed a home.

Lionel's relatives swung into action.  They took him to the Kalwa hospital where they were told he could have his operation.  After they actually brought him to the hospital they were told that it would not be done.  The reason is always the HIV.  Surgeons - especially orthopaedic surgeons - just do not want to operate on people with HIV.  An the way hospitals are - hearing from one person does not guarantee a procedure will really be done.

But Lionel's relatives did not give up.  They had not only found Lionel - a man who had never had the time of day for them in all the years he had lived in the Mumbai area. But now they also have a new relationship with him as fellow worshippers of Jesus. When they first met him they asked Lionel if he had ever prayed to Jesus.  He told them that this was all he could do when he was lying helpless on that balcony.

Lionel's relatives worked and prayed.  And a week later managed to get his operation done a the KEM hospital.  After a few days the hospital wanted to discharge him.  He needed to go back home South - but no trains were available immediately. 

We agreed to have him stay at the JSK centre. 

He said that the time he spent with us was like being in heaven.  The care he got from our nurses.  The love and prayer from the JSK staff and visitors.

Finally it was time for him to go South.  Sheba and I had already left - so we did not seem him off - but we know that there were tears.

Lionel's story is not over yet.

He is alive.  He still has HIV.  He still has to fully recover from his injury. 

We believe his post-op healing is taking place.

But the home front remains grim.

His father refuses to speak with him.  He had called Lionel's relatives and told him not to bring Lionel home.  Part of the matter seems to be Lionel's father's own alcoholism and the deep unforgiving spirit he has.

Lionel's wife and child are still estranged.   He is still not sure what his next steps should be.  He calls up our staff and talks to them and has said he would like to come back and work again at the nursing home here.

Lionel is an unfinished book. The next chapter is still being written.

1 comment:

  1. Hey there hi,

    Your post is nice, thanks for sharing such an informative data with us. Keep posting ahead in future.

    God Bless

    - Hospitals in Mumbai