She didn't know husband was dying
The New Paper
By Judith Tan
SINGAPORE- What's palliative care?
To Madam Nirmla Bhagchandani, it means treatment for her husband's stomach condition.
In medical terms, it actually means treatment to alleviate pain for a dying person.
Madam Nirmla claims something was lost in translation and by the time she found out her husband was dying, it was too late.
Now she regrets not having sought aggressive treatment to buy him time to be with his family.
Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) said they had explained her husband's medical condition to both her and her husband.
Madam Nirmla, 42, an administrative officer, is now hoping that her husband's story will convince other families to ask their doctors all the questions they need.
Her husband's story started with a severe stomach ache that would not go away. It turned out that Mr P Ram Moorthy had colon cancer.
By the time he was seen by doctors at TTSH in March last year, the tumour had ruptured and doctors believed the cancer was likely to have spread to the rest of his body.
That was bad news and is likely to have meant that it was end-stage cancer. The doctors knew that.
But his wife claimed she did not understand how bad it was when the tumour ruptured.
Madam Nirmla said she found out only five months later, in August, after he was hospitalised and the cancer had spread to other parts of his body.
She claimed her husband's condition was never explained to her in terms she understood.