July 28, 2008

Ahmedabad hospital's horrors and hopes- Terror Strike

For the first time ever, terror strikes in India have targeted hospital doctors, hospital workers and their families.

Doctors in Ahmedabad's Civil Hospital -- the worst hit by the bombings -- are battling their own fears and tragedies to help the blast victims.

Inside the hospital is the stark reality of the enormous human cost otherwise lost in statistics and fast changing headlines.

From medical students -- volunteering long hours -- to serpentine queues at the mortuary to rumours of a human bomb, the story of this hospital captures Gujarat's tragedy and horror.

The most heartbreaking story is that of a little child, Yash Vyas, fighting for survival, unaware of the full horror that awaits him outside.

Yash is in indescribable, unbearable pain. He is asking the doctors where his parents are as his trembling arm hits the empty air for help.

On the bed beside him is his elder 12-years-old brother Rohan. Doctors say Rohan may not survive. Yash and Rohan's father, Dushyant, was a technician in the hospital's cancer wing.

Like any other dad, he was spending the weekend teaching his sons how to ride a bicycle. A terror attack destroyed the perfect picture. Now, as little Yash fights a lonely battle in hospital, his house is deep in mourning. And his mother is wondering how to tell her sons the truth.

Dushyant's body has just been wheeled out of the mortuary. It's the news that hundreds others hope not to hear.

Today, at the Civil Hospital, they pray for both salvation and safety.

What else can they do after all but surrender to the power of a force they cannot fight or wake up to the reflection of a bloody new reality?

What do you say to a daughter whose father may not survive; how do you face a mother who has just learnt that her only son is dead. And what courage can you offer a little one fighting desperately and alone to live.

At the hospital's mortuary, people are coming from all parts of the city to hunt down relatives who never came home.

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