The smiling phoenix: Rajagiri Hospital

A 13-year-old boy got a new lease of life at Rajagiri Hospital

Jelvin Joy celebrates his 13th birthday with his parents and new friends at Rajagiri Hospital.
Jelvin Joy celebrates his 13th birthday with his parents and new friends at Rajagiri Hospital.

Some people are as fortunate as the phoenix, who rises from the ashes to life. The story of 13-year-old Jelvin also reminds us of the bird from Greek mythology. On a Sunday in April 2016, as Jelvin was returning from church, he was knocked down and run over by a tipper lorry.

The accident caused serious injuries to most of his vital organs in the abdominal area. After being referred out from two major hospitals in Thrissur because of his critical condition, they brought him to Rajagiri Hospital.

A quick assessment of his injuries revealed a tear in his major respiratory muscles (diaphragm), transected intestine, crushed pelvic and thigh bone with devitalised muscle and soft tissue of right leg. Jelvin was bleeding profusely and he barely had any palpable pulse. The clinical team at Rajagiri Hospital realised that, but for a heroic rescue effort, Jelvin had only moments to live. Under the care and coordination of the paediatric critical care team, he was immediately shifted to the theatre for a highly complex surgery.

The surgery, which lasted for eight hours, involved six major surgical departments - general surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, orthopaedic, plastic surgery, cardio vascular surgery and urology along with two anaesthetists. Doctors needed 10 blood transfusions during the surgery to stabilise Jelvin. Unfortunately, Jelvin had to be taken up for an amputation of his right leg on the third day because of imminent infection spreading from the devitalised tissue. By day five, his condition had started improving and he was removed from the ventilator. The dedicated team of surgeons and nurses continued the wound care to make sure that Jelvin did not develop any secondary infection during his stay at the hospital.

The nursing care in the paediatric intensive care unit had a crucial role to play in his quick recovery and managing his care without any bed sores. His amputated leg was fitted with a lightweight prosthetic limb imported from Germany. He was then rehabilitated by the physical medicine team and trained to walk with the artificial limb.

Rajagiri Hospital organised a birthday treat to salute this little brave heart on his 13th birthday. Jelvin, who was accompanied by his parents, continued to wear that sweet smile as he realised that he had received a new lease of life.

Jelvin’s treatment at Rajagiri Hospital was headed by Dr Bipin Jose (paediatric intensive care), Dr Joseph George (surgical gastroenterology), Dr Gigy Raj Kulangara, Dr Madhu KS (plastic surgery), Dr Murukan Babu, Dr Tom Jose (orthopaedics), Dr Sanjay Bhat, Dr Sandeep R Nath (urology), Dr Joy George, Dr Binil Babu (general surgery), Dr Shiv K Nair, Dr George Valooran, Dr Rinett Sebastian (Cardio Vascular & Thoracic Surgery), Dr Annie Thomas, Dr Sachin George (anaesthesiology), Dr Nithin Ajithkumar Menon (rehabilitation), Vijayan Gopalakrishna Kurup (physiotherapy) and Divya Thomas (clinical psychologist).