Saddened One Moment, Triumphant Another, Physicians Dare to Care

Jan 1 , 2022
By Eden Sahle

There is a huge smile on every patient's face as the physicians at Saint Peter’s Specialised Hospital enter the ward. They greet each other warmly. For my brother and his healthcare provider colleagues there, cured patients and death are everyday phenomena. Their day is determined by how well or bad their patients are doing. The heartbreak they experience and tears they shed over a patient that passes is quickly turned into joy and laughter as they send a patient who has recovered home.

For us non-physicians, one death weighs heavy in our hearts and emotions feel overwhelming. For them, one recovered patient has the power to alleviate the grief they face regularly.

The physicians, nurses and patients have become families where backgrounds or identities are relevant. They exude a grand gesture of contagious care and unity to make the ill well. The way they care for one another and their patients can warm the heart of anyone watching.

They are unlikely to remain in a constant state of gratitude or sadness as they move on to another patient to check on. Time is critical to be there for someone who needs them. I had witnessed this incredible bond with my brother.

For a few weeks, my brother had a patient diagnosed with stomach cancer. Like with his other patients, he quickly bonded with the young man. The man was waiting for surgery to remove the spreading tumour. Both my brother and the patients who share the treatment ward with him hoped to see the man get better after surgery. Sadly, the young man did not make it.

As he was taken out from the ward, all of the patients who shared the ward with him broke into tears. Suddenly their own pain and health worries became less important. They did not need blood ties or friendship with him to be devastated by his passing. Being a human who passed too soon was a good enough reason to sob deeply for him.

Such scenes confront physicians early in their careers. Sometime back on the first day of duty for my brother, he was watching electricians working to fix an electric pole near the hospital compound. An accident happened unexpectedly, and high voltage power passed through the electricians’ bodies. They were brought to the emergency room sustaining serious injury. My brother and his colleagues surrounded the men. They were able to revive two of them but lost two others.

This was unbearable for my brother, who broke down into tears in front of his colleagues. One of them was quick to comfort him.

“Such kinds of incidents are heartbreaking but we did our best to save them,” she reminded him kindly.

Her advice comforted him, but he sobbed for a day even after he came home from his 24-hour shift.

The physicians and nurses often go beyond the call of duty to help their patients. When they meet patients that cannot afford body screening tests or medicine, they connect centres that carry out the service for free. It is almost an everyday occurrence for my brother and his colleagues to collect money from their pockets and other health care workers to supply a patient in need of medicine but cannot afford it. The grateful patients cannot stop thanking them as the healthcare workers quickly run to the next case, which often comes with similar requests.

Their minds always seem to be on how they could best help patients whom they have just met. They take time to comfort patients who are shocked by their diagnosis. Their personal physical and mental exhaustion is endless but overpowered by their joy in treating patients. They do not look like people who have worked for more than ten hours a day when they have to go on for the night.

They are the heroes who do not call for recognition. Their contribution remains in the hearts and minds of the patients they tirelessly helped. They have created replicable attitudes that need to be nurtured by everyone. They are great role models who understand with greater knowledge and awareness comes the responsibility to promote the common good.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 01,2022 [ VOL 22 , NO 1131]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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