Kerala Nurse Ensures Dignified Farewell for Man Five Months After Death

Senior staff nurse from Kollam district hospital Surabhi Mohan stepped forward to provide a dignified farewell to a man she barely knew.
Reflecting on her motivation, Surabhi stated, "It was simply my duty as a nurse and fellow human being. (Representational image: Pixabay)
Reflecting on her motivation, Surabhi stated, "It was simply my duty as a nurse and fellow human being. (Representational image: Pixabay)

Surabhi Mohan, a 53-year-old senior staff nurse at Kollam District Hospital, set an example of responsibility and kindness when she stepped forward to provide a dignified farewell to a man she barely knew. Salim, aged 54, passed away in January after battling respiratory issues, leaving his body unclaimed for five months. Surabhi had no personal relationship with Salim, yet she felt responsible to make sure he didn't depart into anonymity.

Salim was admitted to Kollam District Hospital on December 12, 2023, and spent three weeks in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) before his demise in January. However, his body remained unclaimed in the hospital mortuary for months, prompting health department directives for its disposition. Surabhi, having cared for Salim during his final days, couldn't bear the thought of him being laid to rest without recognition.

On April 28, as arrangements were made to shift Salim's body to Kollam Medical Hospital for anatomical study, Surabhi intervened. She provided her address to ensure Salim didn't depart without a semblance of connection or dignity. Collaborating with colleagues and obtaining permission from the police surgeon's office, Surabhi organized Salim's last rites on May 2.

On April 28, as arrangements were made to shift Salim's body to Kollam Medical Hospital for anatomical study. (Representational image: Pixabay)
On April 28, as arrangements were made to shift Salim's body to Kollam Medical Hospital for anatomical study. (Representational image: Pixabay)

Reflecting on her motivation, Surabhi stated, "It was simply my duty as a nurse and fellow human being." Her interaction with Salim began when her father was admitted to the same ICU ward in December. Over time, she developed a bond with Salim, sharing meals and offering support. Despite Salim being transferred to another ICU ward, Surabhi continued her visits until his passing. Fortunately, her father is now on the way to recovery.

On April 28, on receiving orders to shift Salim’s body, I felt a sense of duty towards him. Having cared for him in his final days, I couldn’t bear the thought of him departing to anonymity. It was simply my duty as a nurse and fellow human being
Surabhi Mohan

In cases where bodies remain unclaimed in hospitals for extended periods, protocols dictate prompt reporting to the medical superintendent. Blood samples are preserved for potential DNA identification, and arrangements are made for burial or anatomical study.

(Input from various media sources)

(Rehash/ Susmita Bhandary/MSM)

Reflecting on her motivation, Surabhi stated, "It was simply my duty as a nurse and fellow human being. (Representational image: Pixabay)
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