The old man turned away sadly as his eyes filled with tears. Poor Mr Dev,
thought Indra sympathetically. Another day went past and there was still no sign
of his family. Indra wondered how children could be so heartless as to abandon a
parent like this.
Indra recalled the day the old man was admitted to her ward.
He was thin and frail. He could not produce his identity card but he could
remember the number. The hospital tried to contact his family using the phone
number he gave them but it was in vain. He
was treated for a lung infection and was now recovering. Soon, it would be time
for him to be discharged. Where would he go
then? He did not look strong enough to fend for himself. Indra threw down the
file she was holding as anger rose within her.
`What's the matter?' asked Poh, Indra's colleague.
`I'm just upset about old Mr Dev,' she replied. Poh nodded with
understanding. She had been a nurse much longer than Indra. She had seen many
cases of abandoned old people and she had learned to control her feelings.
'Don't worry too much, the hospital will contact the welfare department. Mr
Dev will be placed in an old folks' home,' Poh said, and patted Indra's arm
Indra sighed. 'I know. It's just that the old chap really longs for his
family to visit him. He cleans and tidies himself every morning and sits up to
wait expectantly. You can see the eagerness in his eyes whenever the door opens.
At the end of the day, he goes to sleep with tears in his eyes. It makes me cry
Poh shook her head sadly. `He needs a miracle.'
Two days later, the doctor confirmed that Mr Dev was fit enough to be
discharged. Indra was informed that the welfare officer would come to take Mr
Dev to an old folks' home the next day. With a heavy
heart, Indra helped Mr Dev to get ready. He was still a bit weak, so
she put him in a wheelchair to take him down to the hospital lobby where the
welfare officer was waiting. Her eyes were misty when she saw how sad the old
man looked as they got into the lift. The lift doors opened at the ground level
and she pushed the wheelchair out carefully. 'Appa!' a voice cried out. A
middle-aged woman rushed forward and embraced the old man in the wheelchair.
Both of them began to weep. India smiled through her tears. It was the miracle
she had prayed for.
Indra left the scene of the reunion and went to look for the welfare officer.
She was eager to tell him the `bad' news that his trip to collect Mr Dev was a