Issac MV is the facility manager at Sukino healthcare but he is best known for his heroic efforts during the covid-19 lockdown in Bangalore.
The lockdown threatened to leave the continuum care facility that offers post-hospitalization critical care to patients, paralyzed due to a severe shortage of supplies. But that did not deter Issac from jumping into action mode and performing some of the most unbelievable and unimaginable selfless acts out of love and compassion.
In this very inspiring and soul-stirring interview, he speaks about how his work is his salvation and what keeps him motivated to help others at all times.
What is your role in Sukino?
It’s more than just a role. It’s a connection. My association with Sukino goes back many years when I used to remotely provide IT support by connecting them to vendors. But there is something about this organization and there was always this urge within me to be more involved with them. Hence 3 years back I finally decided to take on the full-time role of a facility manager and handle IT and various infrastructure requirements. I just love to be here.
The covid virus has put us all in panic mode. And you work in a healthcare facility that has patients with all kinds of infections. Don’t you feel scared to work here?
On the contrary, I feel safe.
Firstly, we give utmost importance to hygiene and safety precautions as per government and health department norms in every department. Be it the patient rooms, the therapy labs, or the kitchen. Everything is sanitized and maintained immaculately. And secondly, and I may sound like an emotional fool but I have witnessed patients blessing us and praying for us often. And it is my deep belief that when we are protected by blessings and prayers, nothing can harm us.
During the lockdown, while most of us stayed at home out of fear, you came to work every day?
Oh Yes! There was no way I could have stayed at home when I had an opportunity to serve the patients and help them receive uninterrupted treatment. See healthy people like you and I can take care of ourselves. But our patients had placed their faith and trust in us to take care of them and we couldn’t let them down in any way. So it wasn’t only me but a few of my other colleagues too requested the police daily and ensured that they reached the facility.
What challenges did you face?
It was very difficult at the beginning as we struggled with basic commodities like food and medical supplies. We had stocked them up but eventually, the imbalance in the demand and supply ratio was inevitable and we faced a severe shortage. Moreover, the police arrested the auto driver who was supplying the items for us and that worsened the situation.
Additionally, we also had to provide transport for some of the patients who had to be admitted and accommodation for our staff who couldn’t commute daily.
What did you do to overcome these challenges?
It seemed like an insurmountable mountain. I felt helpless and was about to give up. But then our CEO Mr Rajnish Menon himself stepped in with his support. His presence inspired me and my team and what we did after that seems surreal.
We carried gas cylinders and brought them to the kitchen staff, We went against all odds and arranged for groceries and other medical supplies, changed electric bulbs, repaired machines, assisted the patients’ family members to come and meet them, helped the kitchen staff cook meals, washed the utensils, sanitized the facility and even conversed with the patients when they felt lonely.
We also visited the police station and convinced the authorities to release the auto driver.
When I look back I wonder if we really did all that! It seemed like divine intervention.
You have given your best to this organization. Given an opportunity will you consider working somewhere else?
Never. I deeply trust and respect this organization. This is where I belong. The satisfied and loving look on the faces of the patients is what I need to feel happy. And what is most reassuring is that from our CEO to the security guard, we all are in agreement with and believe in the healing and caring services that Sukino offers and are very glad to be a part of it.
What we did during the lockdown and continue doing during the covid crisis is to survive. Sometimes out of hope and mostly out of fear. But Issac and his team at Sukino Healthcare have chosen faith over fear, love over hatred, care over neglect and redefined the meaning of living.
The organization has made over 1000 patients smile and bounce back to life from four care centres spread across Bangalore and Kochi.