SUDEEP DALVI | At last, poor Savio Luis Santana Fernandes, the pedo from Thivim breathed his last, after seven days of struggle between life and death.
Perhaps everybody was waiting for him to leave except he himself. We all were, because we knew that a 90% burnt case has no future and he wasn’t, because he had realised though a lot later, that pouring kerosene over oneself and lighting a matchstick is no solution to a husband wife feud.
When he was brought to the hospital, his wounds had already started oozing out with body fluids. By the sixth day, the situation got so bad that bedsheets freshly placed under him would be drenched wet with foul smelling liquid every five minutes, and require a change. This was the time when medical practice demands that his body be completely dry.
His entire body except his throat, neck and above was covered with loose bandages dipped in ointments, again completely wet when they should have been completely dry.
He could talk, recognize me, call me by my first name, and feel hopeful about life giving him a second chance.
Goa has neither a super-speciality burns ward nor a plastic surgery speciality ward for a patient like Savio. The doctor told me that both are under construction. The best place Savio could find in GMC was a corner bed in a ladies surgery ward, with nine other patients carrying nine different infections at a time when he should have been completely isolated from any chances of secondary infections.
Life is Beautiful‘s Karl Hendricks and Ashley Noronha were with him till his last breath. No help came from his church. The church, where he had dug hundreds of graves and had heard hundreds of last prayers by the Parish Priest, Assistant Parish Priest and other priests and would have come across hundreds of clergy, laity, fabrica, confraria, and pastoral parish committee members as well as regular church goers. Where his father and wife watered the plants and mother swept the floor.
In fact, when Ashley went to the office of the Parish Priest to seek help for the poor soul, he was asked to get out and get lost. The priest’s bone of contention was why did the NGO not wait for him to take action instead of taking things forward on its own.
Anyway, to hell with Parish Priest and his office. Hundreds of helping hands poured in thousands of rupees for him through Facebook appeals. Not less than five volunteers came forward to attend to him in his most difficult time. His poor mother was never felt alone. Nor was his wife. Is that not enough?
Manipal, Galaxy, Vision and other private hospitals refused to accept him. They don’t have a policy of accepting suicides, risky cases involving police hassles.
Amidst such circumstances, today, he moved ahead on his never-ending, eternal journey.
Currently, he has been shifted to GMC morgue from Ward No. 109 for postmortem. The same morgue where Father Bismarque is a guest since 7th of November 2015.
As I am lying flat over a granite slab in the corridor of the new morgue having made a pillow of my army jacket, I don’t know what happened to me but I shouted out loudly, “Father Bismarque, they’ve brought a new bugger in. The lad is from my area. Look after him and teach him a few lessons on life. This idiot took husband-wife things too seriously!”