Mercy in Neglect: An Eyewitness Account

Last week, my parents and sister went to Mumbai for a few days. They visited my grandmother Mercy twice. She was hospitalised earlier this year with back trouble, and has largely been bedridden ever since. All we had till this point was her saying that it was terrible back pain; she was unaware of the doctor’s official diagnosis or how exactly to proceed. Son 2 hadn’t shared that information despite being asked. Only during this visit, were my parents able to read her reports, get a firsthand look at her current situation and find out details from the neighbours who are more involved in her care than her other children. Below is an email that my father Jerry ( SIL 1), has sent today to our immediate and extended families. I have only changed names in {} for privacy, otherwise it is verbatim.


To All Concerned,

Mercy Mummy has suffered compression fracture of the vertebra and I was appalled to see the condition she is placed in.
While there is a full time Maid {B} and a day “Nurse” {A} supposedly to take care of her, she lacks the basic requirements for a patient inflicted with compression fracture and more importantly, any one of her children.
Given that she is bed ridden, She should have a bed that can be reclined, fitted with anti decubitus mattress, pulsating ankle pads etc to prevent occurrence of bed sores or clots in the extremities of feet. There should be restraints fitted on her bed (she apparently had a fall when she tried to get up to answer the door bell when {B} was out running errands) Besides this, she should be provided with physio therapy and also periodic hot / cold packs and a walker for exercising.
There is no evidence of any of the above. Needless to state that this constant sedentary position for a diabetic can lead to bed sores and lack of circulation in the limb extremities can eventually result in gangrene.
Further, she has been supplied with pull up diapers. Pull up diapers are suited for patients that can stand up. {B & A} find it extremely difficult to pull up the diaper as both of them are aged, moreover the diaper is ill fitting with urine leaking on the mattress. One can imagine the condition the mattress is in by now!!
Mummy’s spectacles are over sized (she has lost substantial weight) and heavy, they keep dropping off. I am not sure when her eyes were tested last.
Given that her bed cannot be reclined she is always in an horizontal position even when being fed by {B}. Given the condition of her spectacles and the fact that she cannot be placed on a recline she cannot read or watch TV.
Given that {Son 2} has delegated the care to {his older brother-in-law – OBIL}, I called him to discuss her treatment. He declined to discuss the case with other than tell me that the Dr has not “recommended aggressive treatment” and a curt statement – don’t involve me and he cut the call.
Given that {Son 2} has signed the Godrej Hospital admission papers in 2016 with Mummy’s age as 86 the Doctor’s recommendation is understandable. Incidentally, Mummy’s age cannot be over 77.
She was to see the Dr, 2 months ago, but for inexplicable reasons has not been taken and the consultation was done via telephone!!
When she was brought back from Godrej Hospital in an ambulance she was bundled in plastic sheet and hauled up the stair. This for a patient with spinal injury!! Why wasn’t a secured stretcher used??
Given that {Son 2} had unilaterally taken the decision to take Mummy back to Mumbai without consulting any of his siblings, – brother ({Son 1} was alive then) or his sisters, ostentatiously as Mummy expressed the desire to live in Mumbai, was it not his responsibility to ascertain how she would live alone in any eventuality as none of the children were in Mumbai?  Neighbors and friends will only extent help at their convenience and not on Mummy’s requirement. Neighbors & friends have their own lives to deal with, taking Mrs Mercy {P} to the hospital and closely following up on her treatment is not their primary function.
Given that Mummy is a Green Card holder, she is entitled to a level of care in the US that she is now being deprived of. Why? Based on my first hand experience when Sonetta was undergoing treatment all of the above deficiencies would have been provided both at hospital & home if she was in the US. I fail to understand why she is put in this appalling condition.
{Son 2,} to give you an analogy, if your daughter expresses a desire to attend a late night party would you readily oblige or use all means to dissuade her? Why wasn’t Mummy dissuaded then? Why have you removed your mother from your home and left her alone in Ghatkopar?
We profess we are all Christians. Therefore Jesus Christ is our brother and Mother Mary is our Mother. Given this relationship how can any Christian say to another – I cut you off? Please read Mat. 5:22 and other passages in the Bible.
We are always reachable for an amicable resolution. If the underlying cause(es) and the root cause on why Mummy was compelled to “express desire” to stay alone in Mumbai is addressed, then all other issues will be irrelevant and will melt away. It is still not too late.
We were in Mumbai on a brief visit with other commitments and given that we had to travel onward in connection with Sonetta’s follow-up test / checks we were not in a position to intervene other than write and draw your attention to the situation. Mummy is in a very delicate situation where she chooses to suffer silently rather than be a “burden”. One has to see and comprehend the reality. Any attempt to assuage one’s conscience that she is being provided for does not stand scrutiny. If in doubt, please take this to the Church
I appeal to your conscience to do the right thing in the sight of GOD.

One thought on “Mercy in Neglect: An Eyewitness Account

  1. GSSS

    Many a problem can be resolved if people do not just stand by as bystanders to watch the SHOW.
    While it is true that there is a morbid side in every human, to watch – rather than go forth to STOP, any abuse, the Church teaches us not to be INDIFFERENT or SELFISH because if we do not do anything, it does amount to it..

    And then we see why there are so many SOCIAL evils flourishing because the GOOD do not stand up to fight EVIL. How do we know what is Good and what is NOT ? SEEK


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