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Palliative care workers and volunteers demonstrate "true pallium" in India

Author: Pallium India
20 June 2016

What does the roof over a house have to do with palliative care?

The word “palliative” is derived from the Latin word pallium, meaning a cloak. The idea is that palliative care forms a protective covering, even if the disease process continues.

On our home visit, we had found bed-bound Ms P., her ailing husband and two physically and mentally disabled daughters, literally being drenched by the torrential June monsoons of Kerala. They had tried moving the bed here and there to avoid getting wet, but the whole roof was leaking. There was absolutely no escape.

What would you do in this case?The situation brings to mind a question we had quoted in an earlier blog, Would a doctor fetch a pitcher of water for a thirsty patient? Well, translated to the present context, the question was, would the palliative care team just prescribe the necessary medications and walk away, or would they do something about the leaky roof?

The volunteers from Uzhamalakkal, Ratheesh and Sreejith, and Medical Social Worker, Sarath Mohan, led by our Advocacy Manager Babu Abraham, spent their Sunday morning driving across to the home in the suburbs of Trivandrum and manually putting up a pallium over the humble home. The rain gods were on their side – it started pouring only after the work was finished.

Ratheesh, Sreejith, Sarath, Babu: we are all so proud of your Sunday act of love, initiative and compassion. The whole Pallium India team feels relieved that, by your kind act, Mrs P. and her family can keep themselves and their belongings dry even in the midst of the roaring monsoon.

This article was originally published on the Pallium India blog.

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