Case Studies





"You have cancer of the throat," said Dr. Ashok casually. It was enough to turn 51 - year - old Maganbhai's life upside down.

Maganbhai's medical problems had started 20-25 years ago with a tumour in his throat. He had never paid any attention to it as it swelled up only once a year for a couple of days each time. Moreover it was never painful and always went away without medication.

Upto 1994, Maganbhai was an employee of Arbuda Mills in its Spinning Department. After being unemployed for over four months on its closure, he took up a woodseller's occupation. This was adequate for himself and his wife, Champaben (48), who lived with him and did the housework.

When Maganbhai was discharged from the Mill, he had received Rs.60,000/- as his provident fund. With this amount he bought his current one-room apartment at Sanjay Nagar for Rs.30,000/- in 1995, and had spent Rs.20,000/- on his wife's kidney stone operation.

In April 99, when the tumour resurfaced Maganbhai didn't give it much thought. But this time it troubled him much more. It was so painful and thorny in his throat that he was not able to eat or drink anything. After suffering for four days, Maganbhai went to Dr. Jagdishbhai Shah, and paid a consulting fee of Rs.30/-. The only treatment he got was the advice to consult an ENT specialist!

The next stop was the ENT specialist Dr. Ashok who had broken the terrible news to him. The doctor charged Rs. 60/- as fee.

Worried as he obviously was, a relative then recommended Dr. Atul Kansara. In desperation Maganbhai went there. This doctor opined that there was a stone inside the tumour in his throat.

The doctor believed that medication for five days might cure it. Here Maganbhai had to shell out Rs.240/- for consultancy and medicines.

Unfortunately, the medicines did not have the desired results and meanwhile the pain in his throat had further intensified. So he trudged back to Dr. Kansara's clinic where he was advised to go in for an x-ray.

Maganbhai's expenditure continued to mount as another Rs.150/- was spent on the x-ray. The x-ray revealed the worst. The tumour inside had matured; there was a stone in it, and the stone was dislodged from its original position. The doctor said that this new development made an emergency operation imperative. The cost estimate of around Rs.8000/- gave a jolt to the greviously impoverished man.

Around this time SAATH organised an exhibition in Sanjay Nagar which Maganbhai's illness prevented him from attending. So, when Rajendrabhai from SAATH came to enquire about him, he related his story.

Understanding the mental tension that Maganbhai was undergoing, Rajendrabhai told him that he would get the ball rolling to seek SHARDA Trust's help in this matter.

True to his word, the very next day Rajendrabhai apprised Nirajbhai of SHARDA Trust, regarding the case and all possible assistance was promised.

As soon as Maganbhai reached SHARDA Trust's office the next day, an appointment with Dr. Dipesh Shah was fixed. Nirajbhai rushed him there. Upon examining him Dr. Dipesh Shah referred him to Dr. Tarang Patel at Shrey Hospital. The consultancy fees of Rs.250/- was paid by Maganbhai.

Expectedly, two of them showed up at Shrey Hospital, and got Maganbhai checked up by Dr. Tarang Patel. He confirmed all the earlier findings of the tumour being ripened; presence of a stone in it, and its subsequent dislodging from its original position. The need for an operation too was confirmed. Thus, an x-ray, a blood test, and a urine test had had to be done.

These tests cost Rs.500/- and the doctor's fee was Rs.200/-.

Finally, Maganbhai got himself operated upon by Dr. Tarang Patel on 24 May 1999 at 9 a.m. in Shrey Hospital and Research Centre. The operation lasted for an hour and Maganbhai reported no discomfort whatsoever.

In fact, his opinion about the doctor, the nurses and the hospital in general was very good. He had been treated as a family member; all medications given on time; doubts and queries cleared with utmost patience. Right till the day of his discharge at 11.40 a.m. on 27 May 2000 Maganbhai considered himself fortunate to be in such competent hands.

His next visit to the hospital was on 1 June 1999 to get his stitches removed. Also, he was worried about a depression in his neck following the operation. The doctor, in his characteristic manner, reassured him that it was a temporary problem caused due to an inner swelling. It would go away soon.

The total cost of the operation came to around Rs.12,000/-. Maganbhai paid part of it from his Provident Fund. For the rest he borrowed Rs.5000/- from a jeweller at 3% rate of interest against his gold ornaments. He planned to repay this loan from the financial help that SHARDA Trust gave him. Maganbhai filled up the Medical Assistance form of SHARDA Trust and submitted bills for the same on 4 May 2000. His bills were cleared after a meeting of the committee in accordance with the trust's rules and regulations.

Both Maganbhai and Champaben have nothing but praises to shower on SHARDA Trust. The fact that the Trust got things moving in just one day was most important for them, or else they would've wasted valuable time pondering over "to operate or not"; and this might have caused a deterioration in Maganbhai's health.

Due to SHARDA Trust being in the picture they got the best doctors, the best treatment and all the personnel treated them respectfully. The Trust's officers provided them with cars rickshaw fare for transportation which had been a great help to them. No wonder then, that their hearts are filled with gratitude for SHARDA Trust!