‘Just hold the scalpel...’: What Sushma Swaraj told docs right before surgery
Late former Union minister Sushma Swaraj insisted on undergoing a kidney transplant surgery at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) even as doctors there were not ready to perform it, saying people will lose faith in “our doctors and hospital” if she travelled abroad for treatment, her widower Swaraj Kaushal said in a series of tweets on Monday night.
Sushma Swaraj, 67, who died of a heart attack on August 6, underwent the transplant in December 2016.
“AIIMS doctors were not ready for her kidney transplant surgery in India. She [Sushma Swaraj] said it was a matter of national pride and refused to go abroad,” tweeted Swaraj Kaushal, who is a lawyer and former Mizoram governor.
“She fixed the date of her surgery and asked Dr Mukut Minz ‘Doc Sab - aap sirf instruments pakadaiye, Krishna meri surgery aap karenge [just hold the instruments, Lord will Krishna perform my surgery].”
Swaraj Kaushal recalled that she was smiling in an easy chair just a day later. “She said ‘if we go abroad, people will lose faith in our doctors and hospitals.’ She treated her surgery as a minor operation. She gave all credit to the AIIMS doctors who are best in the world, dedicated sisters and the staff,” he wrote on Twitter.
He added that as a family, they do not have words enough to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his help in Sushma Swaraj’s treatment.
“He was in constant touch with the doctors. He always advised her not to strain as her health was paramount. [Their daughter] Bansuri [Swaraj] and I are eternally grateful to him [Modi],” Swaraj Kaushal said.
Swaraj Kaushal said that Modi ensured that Sushma Swaraj was treated at the AIIMS wing meant for the Prime Minister. He added that Modi would speak to her regularly. “There was nothing that should have been done and was not done,” he said. He added, as a result, she fully recovered and was back to work.
“Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Prime Minister,” he wrote on Twitter. “We should trust our doctors. We should have none of these Enquiry Commissions. That deters our brilliant doctors from operating on the VIPs. We salute our doctors in AIIMS. Nothing can match their competence and commitment.”
Sushma Swaraj stayed away from public life for a while after her surgery and announced during the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections last year that she will not contest 2019 national polls on health grounds.