Kerala, May 24, 2018 : 36-year-old Sajeesh is yet to come to terms with the death of his wife a nurse who died days after she was part of the team that treated the first Nipah virus victim at a government hospital in Kozhikode.
Mr Sajeesh, who works in Bahrain, rushed back on Sunday but got to see his wife for just two minutes. Lini Puthussery died on Sunday night.
"On Sunday morning, I went to the hospital to see her. She had the oxygen mask on, so we could not speak. I could see her for two minutes. I kept my hand on her. She was conscious," Mr Sajeesh told NDTV.
Nursing is a tough job and I am proud of my wife, he said, recalling how Lini was true to the call of duty, working tirelessly though she herself wasn’t keeping well.
Lini refused to take leave though she was unwell, her husband told NDTV
"On Wednesday, she told me over the phone that she was feeling feverish. I told her to take leave. But she said no, lots of patients are there... and she went to hospital," said Mr Sajeesh.
In her last message, Lini had written a note to her husband, asking him to take care of their two children. The note, which has been shared widely on the social media, reached Mr Sajeesh after Lini’s death though it was handed over to his cousin a day before.
Lini had begun preparing for a permanent government nursing job to ensure stability for her family but she also spent time with her two children, aged 5 and 2. Both of them are still waiting for their mother.
"The elder one keeps asking us to connect the line to his mother. The younger one cannot speak. Both of them look around for their mother when they need to drink milk. They think she is away at work", said Reena Anil, Lini’s cousin.
The Kerala government on Wednesday announced a government job for Lini’s husband and Rs. 10 lakh rupees each to her children. "I am very thankful to the state government for the job. I need it for my children," said Mr Sajeesh.
At the Perambra taluk hospital, where Lini worked, colleagues are heart-broken but inspired by her dedication.
"When the first patient with Nipah came, we treated him as a case of viral fever. Who knew of Nipah at that time? She (Lini) was faithful to her job. Today, we have all protection gear and treat patients thinking of Lini. Not one more must die," said Shiny Mol with tears in her eyes.