TheCheckup COVID Obituary: Dr. Ajay Sharma & Indu Sharma

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“I am a doctor – it’s a profession that may be considered a special mission, a devotion. It calls for involvement, respect and willingness to help all other people.”

-Ewa Kopacz

Since the pandemic has hit us, someone who has been working tirelessly daily is our Doctors.  They never had the privilege to work from home or spend time with their families, in addition to all this they have been working in extreme conditions with suffocating PPE kits and risk of getting exposed to COVID. We haven’t lost hundreds but thousands of doctors in this pandemic,
during this second wave only we have lost more than seven hundred doctors to COVID. But the saddest part is that not all of them had been applauded enough for their sacrifices.

TheCheckup dedicates this obituary to all the doctors who fought the unknown, unseen virus bravely yet lost their battle on the frontlines, leaving behind grieving loved ones who now remember them as fierce warriors. Here is the moving story of – Dr Ajay and Dr Indu Sharma.

Dr Ajay Sharma & Dr Indu Sharma

Dr Ajay Sharma (anaesthetist) and Dr Indu Sharma (surgeon) of Panchkula lost their lives fighting COVID in May. The only person left in their family is their daughter Kerrein Sharma, a lawyer by profession. Fortunately, our team at The Check Up magazine was able to connect with her and she shared with us about her parents, their dedication towards their profession and
the plight COVID brought them.

“He was very responsible. Whenever any emergency came he just started to rush for his work. He never took any casual leaves or monthly holidays which were sanctioned to each doctor i.e. 4 days in a month. He did almost double work in the hospital. In his daily OPD, he saw more than a hundred patients. Father never hesitated while performing his duty. He even stayed in the hospital to help other doctors during their night duty hours. He was kind-hearted, and friendly in nature. He liked to serve and help people through his medical profession. Almost the whole town of Naraingarh respected my father for his treatment. He handled many critical patients in the hospital. Nearly every Sunday, he was assigned to special duties when any chief guest or minister came for any organized event or night emergency duties.”

“Last year on Diwali, my father was posted for emergency duty in Nariangarh hospital while other doctors were enjoying the festival and no one wanted to stay in the hospital on those days. He always put his work first. If you check his service record in the Hospital which is prepared annually, his work conduct is remarkable and for the number of emergency cases, OPDs, night duties, emergency duties, etc., he was given the COVID Warrior Award from the department for his services last year. He never gave up on his service and his age factor never came in the way of his covid duty. Many times, I asked him to please resign from his job as it is not safe for him but he always showed faith that nothing would go wrong. He never thought of opening his own clinic or hospital. He knew that in government hospitals people had faith and if each doctor resigned from fear of covid then who would serve those people. ‘Everyone deserves good medical treatment during this disaster covid times’, was his belief.”

Even after being so honest and dedicated towards his duties, he and his wife met an unfortunate fate, and as Kerrein shared her heartbreaking experience with us, we are left speechless.

“She started coughing up blood and for that reason, I
couldn’t go back to my father, who was still in the covid ward in Ambala.”

She said– “My father worked as a specialist doctor in NHM department of civil hospital, Naraingarh. He was posted in the covid ward of civil hospital Ambala for almost 24 hours full day & night shift for 15 days on an alternate basis. He had worked in covid wards from the starting of this pandemic last year but he never stopped or resigned from his job. After he completed covid duty in Ambala, he came back to his original place of posting where he started getting symptoms of covid. He got a positive report of covid on 7th May ’21 and was sent to the covid ward for treatment in civil hospital in Ambala where his CT scan was conducted and his lungs were highly infected. On the other, side my mother also started showing covid signs plus her lungs were similarly infected when I took her to covid centre in Sector 6 civil hospital, Panchkula.

At the time when I was helping my father in Ambala covid ward, she called me saying, ‘Beta, I was coughing the whole night and it didn’t let me sleep’. I asked her to take medicines and kept my phone back as my focus was on my father’s CT scan. During the CT scan of my father, I called my mother again to ask if she had taken her medicine but she was not picking my calls. I called her several times & I suddenly realized if she could have fainted at home because of low oxygen issues. So I asked someone in the
covid ward to please take care of my father for a few hours as I am the only daughter and my mother is also suffering from the same condition and she is not picking my calls. Thereafter, I rushed to my mother and took her to Sector-6 covid ward at the Civil Hospital in Panchkula. But on the very next day, my mother’s condition started worsening as her cough was not stopping. She started coughing up blood and for that reason, I couldn’t go back to my father, who was still in the covid ward in Ambala. I paid some money to a person for essential items like coconut water, milk, etc., who was taking care of his mother in the same covid ward in which my father was admitted.

At midnight I got a call that my dad’s sugar level is about 735+, and his condition was not well. I asked the doctor to help him and do something so he could survive but no one took care of it. I even asked them to give him an insulin injection, and if he is resisting then I’m ready to give an authority letter on his behalf. But they told me that the doctor will come up in the morning and after that something could be done. In the morning around 6 – 7 am while I was helping my mother by massaging her back when I got a call saying “Your father is no more!”. I just took my phone far from my mom and hid the news of my father’s death from her. My mother died on 14th May 2021 just 2 days after my father’s death on 11th May 2021. She didn’t even know that my father had already died.”

The grief they have been through is completely unimaginable for most of us. We can’t bring them back but through our magazine, we would like to appreciate all the sacrifices they made and how they devoted their whole life towards their service. We pray for their souls to rest in peace and hope that their contribution and work would be always remembered by others.

The Check Up magazine wants to appreciate and salute the strength with which Kerrein Sharma managed everything, and we thank her for sharing her story with us because we realise how difficult it would have been to go through all those memories again. We also express our heartfelt gratitude to her for sharing precious memories in the form of photographs to dedicate to her parents.

We know that this loss can’t be recovered but we hope that she gets the courage to move forward in life and achieve everything she desires.

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About the author

Dr Shreya Singh is an MBBS student at BJGMC, Pune. Being an introvert she likes spending much of her time with books and stories. She loves to write, read, draw, paint and everything that gives her a new perspective of the world and allows her to express herself.

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