05 July 2014

A place for miracles

‘I am not a magician,’ he had said, humble as always, according to reputation.  ‘Devi kenek’ (a god), the Resident Anesthetist said.  This was of renowned Neurosurgeon Dr Sunil Perera, who had performed surgery on our friend and colleague Rukshan Abeywansha.  

The last three weeks, for all of us at ‘The Nation’, come to think of it, everything came ‘next’ to issues related to Rukshan.  In many instances we didn’t even get to ‘next’.  It is a miracle, since we are on that subject, that we put out ‘The Nation’ on time, these last three weeks. [See 'The heartbeat of our country has a name' if you want to know more about Rukshan, his condition and how you can help him].

It all happened on June 8, 2014.  Rukshan was thrown from his bike along with another colleague, Kavinda Vimarshana, somewhere near Slave Island.  Kavinda suffered multiple fractures. He had to undergo surgery too and it is likely that he will remain in bed for a couple of months. He will walk again. 

Rukshan’s situation was far worse.  We learned that his case was informally read as ‘hopeless’.  He had suffered spinal injuries. The contusions, the experts said, were of a kind where optimistic prognosis was not possible.  He was moved to Asiri Central Hospital the same Sunday and was operated on the following day. 

Dr Sunil Perera never gives up on his patients, we were told.  Many said ‘He’s the best in Asia’ and that gave all of us a lot of relief.  ‘If anyone can do it, it is Dr Sunil Perera,’ we were told.  There was nothing that we could do, except take our petition to places, people and divinities as per our respective faiths.  This was done.  Every single day.  And we are not done yet. 

But back there at ‘The Central’, the men and women did whatever was humanly possible, inspired by faith or otherwise, guided by the divine or by science (who can tell?).  Every single minute of every single day, through that first surgery on the spine and another ten days later to help Rukshan breathe easier.  The medical staff made all of us breathe easier.  This is a fact. 

It was not just Dr Sunil Perera.  All resident physicians, consultants, attendants, nurses and members of the administrative staff showed exceptional professionalism, amazing patience and helped keep both patient and visitor (family, friends, colleagues and countless others who knew and admired Rukshan for his exceptional skills as a photojournalist) sane. 

The entire staff of ‘The Nation’ has spent the last three weeks doing whatever is possible this side of that unknown country called ‘Medical Care’.  We were helped in no little measure by our colleagues in our sister papers, Rivira, Rivirisi, Diyani and Kiriketi, as well as staff in other departments.  In addition to the religious ceremonies (where Buddhists would go to seek blessings for Rukshan at St Anthony’s Church and Christians would take part in Bodhi Poojas and both sought relief at the Kovil with Muslims present at all times), they did everything possible to help Rukshan’s family keep up their spirits.  And over and above all this, each and everyone did everything possible to raise funds to pay Rukshan’s medical bills. 
Bills.  That’s the other thing.  They have to be paid.  The hospital staff was clearly sensitive to the difficulties faced by Rukshan’s family.  This also helped.  His family had a lot on the proverbial plate.  ‘The Central’ did not add to that plate of anxiety.  

It is a long way from accident to recovery.  It is an arduous path, metaphorically speaking of course, for Rukshan to walk.  For all of us to walk, one might add.  Through all that is clinical in medical care, there was enough heart to relieve the patient and also his family, friends and colleagues. 

Dr Sunil Perera and Asiri Central helped save Rukshan’s life, this we know.  The professionalism with which they went about their work in the ICU and later in the ward as well as in the ‘front office’ is complemented by the kind of understanding, generosity and kindness one has got used to not expecting from privately owned institutions providing medical services. 

We are thankful that Rukshan is still alive. Recovery will take a long time.  If we have the right to hope, though, Asiri Central has had a lot to do with it.  We need to say that.  Thank you, Dr Sunil Perera.  Thank you each and every member of the Asiri Central staff who in one or another attended on Rukshan.  It may be just another day’s work for all of you and it may not be ‘magic’, but in our eyes, in this instance, all of you are miracle-workers.  Thank you, again, for the little miracle that add up to make big ones.


Written on behalf of the staff of ‘The Nation’ and the larger 'Rivira' family.
Reactions:

9 comments:

දේශක යා said...

Yeah. Thats true. Dr. Sunil Perera deserves to hold the title " A God". I was also there at the Central Asiri with my sister a few years ago to undergo a spiral surgery of her. Dr. Sunil was pretty keen and informative to understand the situation of his patient. He did it after spending 5 hours for the complex surgery. He is possibly the greatest in Asia. But the circumstances made him out of the government service is really bad.

Lalith Abeysekera said...

Yes Dr.Sunil Perera is not only a simple Dr but as you have mentioned the GOD. I can remember in 1998 he was in Kandy hospital & did a miracle to save my mother's life. I respect Dr.Sunil Perera from bottom of my heart. You'll have met the GOD & now even you'll can stop praying as Rukshan is in GOD's hands. I wish Rukshan for early recovery.

Lalith Abeysekera said...

Yes Dr.Sunil Perera is not only a simple Dr but as you have mentioned the GOD. I can remember in 1998 he was in Kandy hospital & did a miracle to save my mother's life. I respect Dr.Sunil Perera from bottom of my heart. You'll have met the GOD & now even you'll can stop praying as Rukshan is in GOD's hands. I wish Rukshan for early recovery.

Sandun Karunarathna said...

Please can somebody find me a way to contact Dr. Sunil Perera ASAP? Would be a great help as one one of our relative is being treated at the General Hospital ETU at this moment in critical condition and all of us wants to sought the opinion of Dr. Sunil Perera.

Greatly appreciate if anyone can find me a way to get in touch with him ASAP.

Thanks.

Malinda Seneviratne said...

contact central hospital.

Anonymous said...

Can he help with autistic children?

Malinda Seneviratne said...

That's not his expertise.

malinga dananjana said...

Hey, my mom was involed in an accident(2016.06.17) ,now she was in Rehabilitation Hospital.. we feel soo helpless now ,could u please advice us, What can we do?

Malinda Seneviratne said...

email me: malindasenevi@gmail.com