- Radhika Kerkar
Thank you so much for taking excellent care of my son, Raj Savla. We were under tremendous stress for the past one week since his Dengue fever was getting out of control since one week. We truly appreciate the human touch that you have given to my son, which is very rare to find in Doctors today...
Keep up the good work!
Thank you once again.
- Upesh Savla
It all started when Rishabh was just four. He used to fall ill very often and suffered from weakness and lethargy. Medical tests showed low levels of haemoglobin in blood (anaemia), necessitating multiple blood transfusions. When his condition failed to improve, doctors suspected presence of a more serious ailment. They conducted a bone marrow examination which revealed that the boy had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
The news came as a shock to Rishabh’s young parents Arun (name changed) and Anita (name changed). But they spared no effort in finding the best cure for their son’s ailment. The treatment was extensive, and many a times painful, which Rishabh endured. By December 2012, the treatment entered its concluding phase. The tests showed complete resolution of the cancer. Rishabh was soon discharged and was back to his normal life. ‘The worst is behind us’, thought his parents. But destiny had different plans in store for young Rishabh.
It was in December 2014, two years after completion of the treatment, when Arun noticed an unusual swelling in his son’s testis. In the following months, the swelling in the testis increased and Rishabh began to develop high grade fever. Medical tests revealed that the haemoglobin and WBC count had dropped sharply. Further tests confirmed the worst suspicion of Arun and Anita - Rishabh’s blood cancer had relapsed. Awful memories of pain and suffering resurrected in their minds. The very thought of putting their son through another round of gruelling treatment gave them sleepless nights. But the couple couldn’t afford to waste time, for quick and decisive action was needed.
Rishabh was referred to Sir H N Reliance Foundation (HNRF) hospital for further treatment. On their first consultation with Paediatric Oncologist Dr. Shweta Bansal, Arun and Anita were explained about the chances of cure and the complications that could arise during the course of treatment. After consultation and discussion about the treatment, the child was admitted and started on high risk relapse protocol, which entails chemotherapy.
After the chemotherapy sessions ended, Rishabh started developing complications. He was admitted to the hospital with severe neutropenia and sepsis. He also suffered an episode of cardiac arrest. The doctors successfully resuscitated him and shifted him to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In the ICU, Rishabh developed respiratory complications. But the doctors successfully managed this condition as well by using non-invasive mechanical ventilation. Over the next few days, Rishabh had to undergo dialysis and colostomy. The chain of disorders seemed unending. With each passing day, it was becoming more and more challenging for the doctors, his chances of survival were diminishing.
However, by dint of skill and team spirit, the hard work of team of doctors, which included Pediatric Oncologist, Surgeon, Nutritionist, Physiotherapist, Pediatric Residents and nurses showed results and Rishabh was finally out of danger.
It is said that hope is the ability to spot a ray of light despite all the darkness. It was indeed a ray of hope to which the parents, doctors and support staff at HNRF were clinging on to, hoping for a miracle. Everybody at the hospital tried their best to make Rishabh smile, to make him believe that he would win the battle. Even the chefs at the hospital started making him his favourite dishes, while not compromising on the nutrition. Slowly but gradually, Rishabh recovered from all the complications of the ailment. He was put under extensive physiotherapy for rehabilitation.
This brought some hope to Arun and Anita, as well, that their son would again laugh, eat and play like before. The path to recovery was tough. But Rishabh had learnt to walk the path in his own style. After a few weeks, he was declared fit to be discharged from the hospital. “By God’s grace, Rishabh has come out of trouble. The entire team of doctors and staff attending to Rishabh were excellent. They treated him just like a family member. Everybody at the hospital, including the staff, had been a pillar of support for him all throughout.” states the father.
To restore joy and happiness in the life of the child, HNRF also approached the Make A Wish Foundation to fulfil one of Rishabh’ s heartfelt wishes – to visit the iconic Taj hotel in Mumbai. The foundation arranged for a visit to the Taj hotel, where Rishabh got to bake an Italian pizza with the help of celebrity chefs.
It has been two years since Rishabh was treated for cancer relapse at HNRF. Rishabh still visits the hospital for follow-up treatment. He recently appeared for his IV class exams, which he cleared with flying colours. He scored an impressive 86%. He has again started playing cricket, the game which, perhaps, taught him to never give up fighting in the face of challenges.
At this young age, he has given two crucial lessons to all of us:
- Lalit Salceha
I am sharing my experience here on the benefits of yoga, which in turn would help readers to, their own decision as applicable to them. ...
My doctor recommended that I undergo the usual blood tests as well as an ECG. The results were normal. He then recommended that I visit a Psychiatrist. At the same time, the doctor through whom I had done the tests recommended that in addition to a Psychiatrist I should also do Yoga.
I scheduled my appointment with Ms. Nitya, the Yoga Therapist at Department of Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine at Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and discussed my background, she recommended that I start my Yoga practice the following week. The Pyschiatrist read my reports and her analysis was that I had an anxiety disorder. She put me on medication. I told Nitya that I had started my medication. After about a week of medication, instead of me feeling better I was not feeling good at all and my blood pressure too was high in spite of the regular medication. I stopped my anxiety medication and continued with Yoga.
Today after 6 months of Yoga practice I feel good, there are no palpitations and my blood pressure is consistently normal.
- Ranjana Patel
One day, Anita noticed drops of blood oozing out of Sarang’s nostrils. Alarmed, she quickly rushed him to an ENT specialist. The specialist performed a nasal endoscopy on the child which revealed a lump in the region behind the nose. The lump was obstructing the flow of air to the lungs. The specialist performed a minor surgery and removed the lump. He then sent samples of the lump tissues for biopsy. The result reported a case of Burkitt’s lymphoma, one of the most dreaded forms of childhood cancer.
“It was a sudden jolt to us. We were not prepared to hear such a terrible news.” says Anita with a quiver. The couple referred the report to multiple specialists hoping for a relieving news. But they met with the same answer everywhere.
It took a while for Anita and Sujay to come to terms with reality. But they realised that they couldn’t afford to waste more time. Burkitt’s lymphoma cancer tissues multiply very fast and the treatment for the ailment should start immediately after its detection. While the removal of lump had provided temporary respite to their son, a bigger battle lie ahead. After researching for institutes that specialise in paediatric oncology, the couple zeroed in on the Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation (HNRF) Hospital in Mumbai. Pediatric Oncologist. Dr. Shweta Bansal at the HNRF reviewed Sarang’s profile and recommended that he should get admitted to the hospital for further treatment. They also explained Anita and Sujay about the treatment procedure in detail. Sarang’s case was treated as a stage II disease on aggressive but highly effective (LMB96) chemotherapy protocol.
The treatment required Sarang to remain admitted at the hospital for a week, once every 21 days. After the chemotherapy sessions began, his visits to the hospital got more frequent, and even painful. Chemotherapy is a powerful therapeutic process that is accompanied with side-effects. But Anita would always help her son cope with the difficulties. “Dr. Shweta Bansal was always a call away. It didn’t matter even if it was midnight, she would promptly land at Sarang’s bedside and attend to him. We never felt alone even for a second”, reflects a teary Anita. Sarang could eventually cope with the treatment. Even as the chemotherapy was in progress, the chemotherapy sessions were scheduled as such that he could celebrate all major festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja and Diwali.
The treatment was completed in six months. The follow-up scans showed complete resolution of the disease. Sarang is now back to his home in Pune and enjoys a playful and healthy life just like any other child of his age. At least once a day, Anita and Sujay silently thank the doctors who have given their son a new lease of life. Sarang is currently preparing for his VIII standard board examinations. The dark clouds of despair have finally vanished and a new season of hope and happiness is in the offing for Sarang and his parents. Their experience is a testament to the fact that even a daunting challenge like cancer can be overcome with steadfast hope and right care.
- Mrs.Kamini Oza
It was during my annual follow-up with a very senior Doctor at Reliance Foundation Hospital that I mentioned to him the excruciating pain I was experiencing in the back, spine and both my limbs. He immediately suggested that I should visit Dr. Sunil Rajpal from the Physiotherapy department in the Heritage Building, and he was sure Dr. Rajpal would be of immense help to me.
I immediately fixed up an appointment with Dr. Rajpal, and started my Physiotherapy sessions with him. This continued for nearly 1 ½ months. Then Dr. Rajpal suggested that since I had not made any progress with 1 ½ mounts of Physiotherapy, I should see a Spine Surgeon in the Hospital. He did not let his ego come in the way while suggesting this, and he called the Spine Surgeon Dr. Kshitij Chaudhary, to see me.
I was wheeled to Dr. Kshitij Chaudhary’s room in the Tower Building. After seeing my reports done prior to my first surgery, the MRI, the X-rays and other reports, he suggested that we repeat the MRI and other tests for I was in too much pain, and could not let the old reports rule my being.
The MRI was repeated, the CT scan was done, but to our utter dismay, both these reports were normal. And then, Dr. Chaudhary suggested we do an X-ray in the standing position. He said he would like to be present while my X-ray was taken in the standing position. It was after viewing the X-ray in the standing position that Dr. Chaudhary was able to ascertain the cause of the acute pain that I was suffering from.
The L5 and tail bone had a considerable gap. Also there were other problems that needed to be fixed. Dr. Chaudhary informed me that a second spine surgery would be required, to fix the problems that I was presently facing.
How much worse could things get from their present state of affairs? I requested Dr. Chaudhary to immediately fix the date and time for the second spine surgery at the earliest possible. The surgery was fixed for November 17th 2015. And thus started my road to recovery.
The very next day after my surgery, I found that I could walk a little without much discomfort. On the second day after surgery, I was able to take four rounds of the corridor around the rooms.
After the spine surgery many doctors came to my room to check the various parameters and tests performed, both during and after my surgery. Dr. Preeti Chhabria, Consultant, Internal Medicine visited me every morning with her pleasant smiling face – she reminded me of Florence Nightingale, who lit up many spirits and helped to heal the low and weak. Was Dr. Chhabria not a replica of Florence Nightingale, for every time she walked into my room I felt a slight flutter within me?
Dr. Preeti would be accompanied with her team of Doctors, Dr. Pratik Gopani, and Dr. Gaurav Mahesh Sharma. Dr. Akshay Gadiya the resident Doctor, also visited me regularly, and enquired about my well-being.
Apart from all the doctors who were so true to their profession, I must also applaud the nurses and the staff at Reliance Foundation Hospital, who worked with dedication, love and sincerity.
To mention the nurses, few who stand out in my memory – Ashy Mohan, Febin Joseph, Simishna – there were many more, but memory fails me with their names. To each and every one of you whom I have mentioned by name, and those whose names my memory fails me, a Big Thank You.
May you all continue to do the wonderful work you all have undertaken to do towards humanity, and may God give you the strength and good health, in uplifting the welfare of your fellow humans.
A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL.
- Sangeeta Poonja
- Bombay Gymkhana Rugby Team
As soon as we entered the hospital the staff from the front gate/drop off to check in desks were very polite and helpful. I can’t tell you how relieved she was to have a wheelchair take her upto the 3rd floor to see the doctor. The staff did a very good job of informing of us on the status of our appointment. I had a good feeling about this once I entered Dr. Mehta’s office. He was so patient and attentive to her and her medical history. His assisting doctor made sure she goes through all of the past medical history and logged it into the system. (something that I have not seen in some of the hospitals). The nurse who was helping Dr. Mehta with the initial examination was phenomenal. We absolutely loved her. She bonded with the patient and was so kind that my grandmother was less nervous about the physical exam even though I could hear groaning in pain. I found Dr. Mehta very knowledgeable, experienced, caring and patient. I was pleased to see the ‘personal’ touch that sometimes is absent in healthcare in the US. It is a pure number games at times and patients feel rushed or at times I’ve also wondered if my Dr. suffers from ADHD. As a part of her medical plan, Dr. Mehta eliminated a lot of the extra medications and painkillers. (a relief). He recommended an opioid/pain reducing injection/block for her once she felt better. We came back for this injection about 4-5 days later. My grandmother gave me an account of the atmosphere during the treatment and unique care and attention that she received. While she felt the procedure was painful, she was relieved to have Dr. Mehta and his team who were friendly and easy to speak to that she was less nervous than her usual procedures. Again – I want to thank Dr. Mehta and His team for all the kindness and attention. He recommended Dr. Aashish Contractor for sport rehab/physical therapy. We also saw Ms. Pawar for a nutrition plan and really appreciated her feedback.
I had the opportunity to meet and speak (a few times) with Dr. Aashish Contractor the following week. He was also incredibly attentive and focused on individualized patient care. He took the time to consult and discuss her history with Dr. Mehta. It was great to know that both the doctors compared notes and were on the same page. Dr. Contractor also sat down with me and explained his plan for her treatment. She has been continuing Physical Therapy with his team ever since and is certainly gaining back her mobility in small steps. Dr. Contractor was available by phone every single time we had any questions. I’ve infact kept in touch with both the doctors on a biweekly basis regarding her progress. I was super impressed to see Dr. Contractors background and am pleased that a doctor with his breadth of experience chose to come back to India to practice medicine. (After all U.Va took care of Superman)
I spoke with the both the doctors on the day of my departure and I can’t tell you how relieved I was to know that I will be able to see my grandmother again in about 4-6 months’ time when I return back to India. The team demonstrated great collaboration at ALL TIMES and kept all lines of communication open – within the hospital, with the patient and with her caregivers. I commend both the doctors for their time, attention and kindness that they’ve shown my grandmother. I have faith that they will not compromise on patient care even as the hospital starts to see more volume. Please we NEEDED this!
Finally, Dr. Mehta had mentioned that the hospital had decided to comp./credit her 1st procedure. I am not sure if that was done but if it was we are thankful for that additional step. The billing/payment procedure was a bit slow and had some hiccups but I am sure that is all straightened out by now.
I had seen the posters and taglines in the lobby of the elevator and I can truly say that the team followed through with the organization's culture and philosphy. Now, I can say firsthand that Mumbai has some of the best doctors and medical care. One doesn’t need to fly out to Mt. Sinai or Columbia hospital.
I’ve also read Mrs. Nita Ambani’s mission statement prior to visiting the hospital and am both glad and proud to say that we experienced that same level of care and kindness from our doctors and their teams at Reliance. Growing up I had visited Harkisandas Hospital numerous times – green curtains, the smell of medicine/rubbing alcohol, rude ward boys and scary nurses is how I vaguely recall Harkisandas Hospital. So, thank you for turning that image and experience around. Medicine and healthcare are a topic of interest to me as I work within clinical research trials and the main focus of my career – is to improve the quality of life for patients.
Cheers for executing the mission statement: “We won’t just treat health, we will respect life”
- A Tivari
- P Mehta
- Nidhi Borana
- Karan Rawtani
- Saahil Kalvani
- Preeti Bohra
- Shraddha Shingre
- Nicku Nayak
- Praful Mistry
- Riya Ahire
- Prakash Shukla
- Sneha Minda
- Nalini Parekh
- Sonia Singh
- Mittali Surti
- Amrita Sundar
- Amrish Shah
- Nisha Bijoy
- Shruti Lotikar
- Kashi Shah
- Kshitij Verma
- Vijay Ambadekar
- Giriraj Bajaj
- Ravin Gandhi
- Nilendu Deb
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of patients.