My husband Rick was admitted to the ICU for an acute blood loss he suffered owing to a Mallory Weiss tear in a stomach ulcer in January 2015. His haemoglobin levels swiftly fell to a critical 1.9 and he had to be put on life support.
As a Jehovah's Witness, it was Rick's decision to opt for alternatives to blood transfusions. Dr. Vatsal Kothari and his team of doctors were open-minded and accepting of our decision, something that I will always be indebted to them for.
Dr. Kothari never used his position of authority as the ICU director to coerce us into changing our stance. Rather he was always positive and assuring. In fact, there is something about Dr. Kothari's personality that exudes confidence and optimism. At times, his smile and his light hearted banter are all one needs to see through the gloom. He has the unparalleled ability to help the family perceive a ray of hope, no matter how bleak the chance.
I still remember his assuring words even after a not-so-good MRI.
How can I forget that Rick was to be given 24 hours for steroids to be administered and based on my concerns, Dr. Kothari said, in his signature style, 'Why 24! We can wait for 72 hours!'
Then again, I can't forget Dr. Kothari's timely decision to change a medication that pulled him out of another crisis we were facing with his falling WBCs. Yes, though it's been 2 years since, there are numerous accounts that I can still recall with as much clarity.
Rick struck a wonderful rapport with Dr. Kothari from the moment he could make sense of his surroundings after being weaned off the tubes, his 'James Bond' as he called doctor in a still semi-conscious state.
Even after Rick was moved out of the ICU, Dr. Kothari continued to visit us and his visits meant a lot.
We look forward to meeting Dr. Kothari even now. He is one of the reasons we can look back on those days with a smile on our lips. Thank you for everything Dr. Kothari.