‘Marriage can wait, not my patients’: Kerala doctor puts service ahead of marriage

Written by Ramesh Babu on Hindustan Times

The doctor’s colleagues said she was dressed in her best attire, the protective gear, on the day of her marriage, which was postponed on her request.

Sunday, March 29 was supposed to be one of the happiest days in the life of a young Kerala doctor as she was all set to get married to a Dubai based businessmen. However, the critical battle against coronavirus meant that instead of getting married, she decided to don her protective gear and treat patients afflicted by the dreaded virus.

Meet 23-year-old, Dr Shifa M Mohammed, a house surgeon, who was busy at the isolation ward of the Pariyaram medical college hospital in Kannur on Sunday, March 29. Instead of bridal finery, the young anti-Covid-19 warrior donned the personal protection equipment (PPE) that day. ‘Marriage can wait, not my patients, who are struggling for their lives in isolation wards,’ she had told her groom and parents. Both of them readily agreed to her decision.

“In every girl’s, life wedding is an important event. But my daughter has put her social responsibility and professional commitment before her personal needs. When she suggested postponement of her wedding, we readily agreed to it,” said her father Mukkam Mohammed, a leader of the Nationalist Congress Party and LDF district convenor in Kozhikkode.

“When we approached the groom Anus Mohammad, a businessman in Dubai, he also readily agreed to it. I am a social worker and my wife is a teacher. Both my daughters have imbibed this spirit from our social work,” Mohammed added.

His elder daughter is also a doctor and currently posted at the Kozhikkode medical college hospital.

Initially Dr Shifa was reluctant to speak about her decision, which she said was “not out of the ordinary”, but after much prodding, she said “I didn’t do anything great. I did only my duty. I don’t want to talk about it much. There are many like me who postponed their personal engagements. I am only one among them,” she said over the phone after coming out of the isolation ward.

“It is true, on marriage day I was in the corona ward and some of my friends teased me saying I was dressed in my best attire (PPE). But I always enjoy serving my patients. I don’t want to talk much about it as I did my duty only,” she said, and added that as a house surgeon, she can’t talk about her patients and other details.

As the number of Sars-CoV-2 infected have gone up significantly in Kerala, the state government has recently converted Pariyaram medical college hospital in Kannur to a dedicated facility to treat Covid-19 patients. The state has reported two disease-related deaths and 234 people are in isolation wards.

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