On June 27, 2020, approximately two weeks after arriving in India, Mdm Rajeswari passed away.
Mr Mani, who has been described by his wife’s doctors as a “calm and dedicated caregiver”, was by his side.
“Suddenly she passed out… When I checked, she had no more pulse. The doctors had advised not to resuscitate her, ”he said.
A neighbor who is a doctor confirmed his death. She was 44 years old.
In a tearful interview recounting his wife’s return trip, Mr Mani spoke of his willingness to be with their children.
“She said if she didn’t see her children she wouldn’t leave the world, she would stay,” he said. “She was so happy.”
He is still incredulous that they were able to make the trip.
“I didn’t believe this would happen. They told us we could go on June 10th, a day before, but we didn’t believe it at all. Because the COVID-19 situation was bad, and his too.
“Even in the ambulance on the way to the airport, I couldn’t believe it… No one believed I could go. My business didn’t believe I would be able to go there.
Even when they arrived in India, Mdm Rajeswari couldn’t believe she was there, he said.
“It was so difficult, but I was also happy to be with my wife (when she passed away). But when she was gone, that’s when it got really bad for me, when I knew she wasn’t going to be there anymore.
Mr Mani said he was grateful to the donors and those who gave up their seats so they could take the flight. Above all, he thanks the doctors who worked tirelessly to make the trip possible.
Dr Yung said the team felt “obligated” to make Mdm Rajeswari’s last wish come true because they were “touched by his determination and love”.
WHAT IS PALLIATIVE CARE?
The TTSH palliative care team does its best to meet the wishes of all of its patients, said Dr Yung.
The general theme and goal of palliative care – caring for patients with limited life expectancy – is “to add life to days if days can be added to lives,” she said. .
This involves not only managing the physical care of the patient, but also the psychological and social aspects of his life.
Palliative care patients are predominantly those with advanced cancers, who have a “high symptom burden”. The team is also caring for patients with organ failure, who have similarly high needs, she said. The patients usually have up to a year to live.
When struck by disease and faced with death, things like success and material things become less important. “It’s about what gives them meaning and purpose and priority in the next life,” she said.
“Number one is family, good symptom control or a good death.”