Bangalore: Dr Krishna Rao in Bangalore is providing free treatment and care to poor terminally ill cancer patients. For almost 14 years, he has been helping them through his Karunashraya foundation.
"I wasn't prepared to come here, my brother brought me here as he couldn't afford to treat me in a hospital," said Lincoln, a patient. 78-year-old Lincoln lost his leg to cancer nearly five years ago. Terminally ill now, the Karunashraya Cancer hospice opened its doors to him offering medical care and a place to call home in his last few days. "Doctors and nurses are so nice, they give me whatever I want, there's no problem," Lincoln said.
Set up in 1999, the hospice provides free palliative care for terminally ill cancer patients. Krishna Rao quit his full-time job and set out to build an institution that resembled nothing close to a regular hospital. What came up instead was an oasis of tranquility for patients in their most troubling times.
Even as he struggles to speak to his son, Hafeez Shaikh knows that Karunashrya has given him what no one else could. Diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour and unable to afford admission in a private hospital, his family moved him here, to make his last few days more comfortable.
Besides housing patients here, Karunashraya also offers a unique home care facility, where medical experts visit patients at their residence and train their families in palliative care.
Dr Kumar, who heads the medical team lost his mother to cancer several years ago. He gave up a cushy private hospital job to care for the patients here. Karunashraya can only accommodate 50 patients as of now. But over time, they hope to expand and ensure that the lives of those who have lost the hope to live are at least made more comfortable.