The heart-wrenching story of a doctor who buried his colleague

The heart-wrenching story of a doctor who buried his colleague

This is the story of a doctor from Chennai who shares his traumatic experience in the process of losing his colleague due to COVID-19. Dr Pradeep Kumar in Chennai lost a close friend, who was also a doctor by profession, and the worst part is, Pradeep has to bury his friend himself when the locals did not allow for burial.

A neurosurgeon Dr Simon Hercules died due to the novel virus and Pradeep has to bury him in the midnight using his bare hands. He took the help of two hospital ward boys to shovel at a crematorium. The local argued that the burial might spread the disease and affect the neighbourhood. The burial moment has caused a lot of trauma to Dr Pradeep and he said "I have been crying for the whole day. I don't know how many people have experienced burying someone. I have seen death in my hands but I have never buried anyone, let alone someone who was close to me".  

Pradeep said that Dr Hercules was a kindhearted doctor and he was a gentleman. Hercules said to have no haters and he was literally everyone's favourite. Pradeep, when asked in an interview, said that he is not blaming the locals for his traumatic situation but the fake news which is spreading like the plague in this vulnerable situation. "I don't blame people for this. There is a lot of wrong information out there -- everybody wants to give their opinion on social media. There is no awareness among the public. They are lighting candles, banging utensils but they don't know why they are even doing this," he told.

"My own mother thought that lighting nine candles at 9 pm will kill coronavirus. If I can't explain things to her think about the world. People don't even know coronavirus will not spread because of a burial. The crowd wanted us to get lost with the body, they attacked us, they hit us, they made us bleed, they made us run away," a helpless Dr Kumar added. According to WHO guidelines, bodies of COVID-19 patients should be buried 12 feet into the ground. So the doctor used the excavator to dig the pit.

During the process, a huge mob attacked them by pelting stones, hitting us with big wooden sticks. They threw whatever they could find," he said. Due to the mob, it was sad to learn that Dr Hercules's wife and son, who were present at the venue, had to escape from the mob and failed to give a proper send off to their loved one. "His daughter is also COVID-19 positive, she couldn't even see her father's face for the last time," Dr Kumar said.

Pradeep concluded saying - "We beg you that we, doctors, are also so scared of coronavirus like you. If we stop treating you because of our fear, there will be more casualties and more dead bodies. Then your own kith and kin will not come to bury your body. We are continuing to help people so kindly support healthcare workers," he appealed with tears in his eyes.