When we temporarily returned to Fukuoka from Kerala in January 2004, I called a hospice association in Fukuoka to inquire if there were any doctors involved in palliative medicine.
A Christian lady, Mrs. Fukabori, recommended that I go to see Dr. Yasuyoshi Ninosaka. She said that Dr. Ninosaka was very patient-friendly and he worked in many community services. My husband and I visited the Ninosaka Clinic. My husband told Dr. Ninosaka about the medical situation in Kerala. He was very impressed and was interested in participating in the International Workshop on Palliative Care in November under the auspices of Kerala Palliative Medicine. He rented a community center in May and organized a lecture for my husband about his work abroad.
Profile of Dr. Yasuyoshi Ninosaka:
He was born in Nagasaki in 1950. He graduated from Nagasaki University School of Medicine. In 2005, he established the "Fukuoka Association for Promoting Hospice at Home" as a network for various professions. In 2011, he opened "Little Seed," a community life care center with residents. He received the Award which is called “Japan Medical Association Red Beard Award” in 2014. It honors doctors who have supported the lives of residents with a focus on health for many years in the local medical field. Dr. Ninosaka has been involved in home hospice. His books include "Home Hospice Story", "Recommendations for Home Hospice", and "It's a waste to die in the hospital."
I was also interested in pediatric hospice, so I visited Dr. Hiroko Inada, a pediatric blood cancer specialist, at Kurume University Hospital and asked her to give a lecture at the Department of Pediatrics, Calicut University, Kerala. Dr. Inada was surprised by my request at first but later accepted the invitation.
Dr. Hiroko Inada's profile:
Pediatric specialist, pediatric hematology/oncology specialist. Ph.D. Medical doctor.
She worked for 23 years in the pediatrics department of Kurume University after graduating from Kurume University. She was involved in the treatment of pediatric cancer, follow-up of those who had recovered, and palliative care. She also continues a follow-up clinic for childhood cancer survivors, which is her life work. She decided to marry her husband, Mr.Tetsuya Nobu, a high school teacher who had experienced childhood cancer and was having repeated recurrences of colon cancer at the time. She retired from the university hospital. Mr. Nobu passed away two years later, and although the marriage was short, she said he left behind many lessons and treasures for her. She is active as the chairman of the NPO Pal Support Kids Association.
It seems that when I meet someone wonderful, my personality is such that I cannot suppress the urge to do something together with them. Thus, Dr. Ninosaka, his wife Fujiko, his second son, Tatefumi, who was in high school (He is currently the director in charge of the Ninosaka Clinic.), and Dr. Inada came to Kerala!
I want to share some photos from their visit with you.
An English couple visited Kerala, and they wanted to build a hospice in Kerala. They sold the land and house they owned in England so that they could build a hospice. Michio and I were on duty for a few days at this hospice and we attended to the death of one of the cancer patients.
Dr. Ninosaka founded the non-profit organization "ASSOCIATION FOR SHAKING HANDS WITH BANGLADESHIS" on November 1, 1989. He started to support the construction of a nursing school in 2011. The school building was completed in 2017. Many nurses from this school are now working in various areas.
Michio and I donated money for their activities by promoting a saxophone charity concert in Kushimoto Town.
For one year, my husband worked at the Ninosaka Clinic, where he experienced home healthcare for the first time and learned a lot from the doctor, staff, patients, and their families.
Dr. Inada donated books to the pediatric cancer ward. The children and their mothers greatly appreciated the books.
What both doctors have in common is their commitment to the patient and family being the "main actors”. I have the utmost respect for both of them. They do not provide a one-way flow of medical care and welfare, but they believe it is important to have a human attitude toward patients. So doctors, and those around the patients, should help them to live with dignity to the end, while sympathizing with, helping, and complementing each other.
We often tend to underestimate ourselves, saying, "Those people can do it because they are capable and can afford it, because they have money and time, but I can't do it."
We tend to underestimate ourselves. However, Jesus Christ valued the existence of children who are ordinary, innocent, and unable to live without help. Jesus told us, “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. “
Let us have our dreams! I hope to pass on this dream to my children and grandchildren before I leave this world.
Pal Support Kids Association：