JAIPUR: Working at a hospital that is at the centre of providing advanced healthcare facilities to coronavirus patients comes with its share of responsibilities. Ramamurthy Meena, intensive care unit (ICU) in charge at the SMS hospital in Jaipur, is well aware of it. So caught up was he with work at the hospital that he couldn’t even participate in the last rites of his mother, but managed to view her cremation through a video call.
His mother Bholi Devi passed away on March 30 at the ripe age of 93. But the call of duty was stronger, as Meena was attending on coronavirus patients. So, loaded with grief while pushing back his tears, he continued offering patient care at the hospital and let his brother perform the last rites.
Remember, SMS is the state’s biggest government hospital where the first bunch of infected Italian tourists were admitted and later cured.“My mother passed away but I felt those who are alive and struggling need me more at this time,” Meena told this newspaper. “I can’t leave the patients. We all have to fight in unison against the epidemic. My wife and children are all in the village in my native Karauli district. My three brothers and father supported me saying ‘you serve the corona patients without grieving.’ That gave me the courage to continue to work,” he added.
Fellow nurses lauded Meena’s sense of commitment. “This is exemplary devotion to duty. If Meena wanted to go for the funeral, the administration would have helped him attend the last rites, but he never left the ICU as there are many serious patients admitted there. We are sad he wasn’t able to join his family in their time of grief but he is an inspiration for all the medical professionals of the country. We are proud of him.” said Rajendra Rana, state president of the All Rajasthan Nursing Association.
Rajasthan on Thursday had 27 fresh cases, taking the state’s total to 328. Of them, 103 cases are from Jaipur and many of them are admitted at SMS hospital, where people like Meena are holding fort, one reason why over 40 have already recovered in the state.