Mercedes accident: Prayers pour in for Dr Anahita Pandole, her patients wish speedy recovery

“Dr Anahita is God for us because she holds the same power as the almighty to bring life on Earth. Because of her, I have a seven-year-old son to call me father,” said Neville Anklesaria, a business professional. At the age of 42 years, he had fancied his chance of becoming a parent until, in 2014, the couple enrolled in the community fertility scheme Jiyo Parsi under Dr Anahita Pandole.

Like that of Anklesaria, Dr Pandole, a well-known gynaecologist in Mumbai has touched the lives of hundreds of Parsi couples who deal with infertility or health complications related to pregnancy. Dr Pandole was behind the wheels when the Mercedes car met with an accident near Mumbai on Sunday afternoon that killed former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry and Jehangir Pandole, Director at KPMG Global Strategy Group.

Now, as she undergoes treatment at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sir H N Reliance Hospital, prayers from her patients are pouring in for her speedy recovery.

After waiting for years to find the like-minded match for him, Anklesaria got married in 2013 to his wife Bahroze, who was then 37 years. Their attempts to get conceive for 8-9 months served futile which became a concern for them considering their age. In August 2014, in a Jiyo Parsi seminar, they met Dr Pandole and it has been nothing more than a blessing for them.

After undergoing two cycles of fertility treatment, on April 15, 2015, Bahroze received news that she was pregnant. Anklesaria recollected how Dr Pandole not only provided them treatment but counseled them. “When my wife got pregnant, we kept consulting her and she didn’t charge a penny. She is a person with a golden heart,” he recollected.

To rule out any chance of miscarriage, Dr Pandole prescribed her injections and later a protein powder for the child who was unwell. “When my baby was born, Dr Pandole was more excited than me. She told me that my baby was ‘smart’,” he added.

Now, upon hearing the news of the accident and ongoing forwards on social media, the couple is just praying for her recovery. “She will recover as hundreds of parents like us are praying for her,” he said.

She played a key role in the ideation and formulation of the methodology required for the Jiyo Parsi programme, a government-funded scheme to help infertile couples from the community to become parents. With time, the Parsi community is witnessing a gradual drop in population. The fertility rate of the Parsi has gone below 1. So, Dr Pandole lent a helping hand to help couples conceive.

Farideh Dotivala underwent Intrauterine insemination (IUI) — a type of artificial insemination — a procedure to treat infertility under Dr Pandole that helped Dotivala conceive her second child. Sharing her testimony on the portal of Jiyo Parsi, she said, “Dr Pandole makes sure her patients are well taken care of. Even after a week of my delivery she made sure to keep in touch and find out how I was doing. She is a very dedicated doctor and the best part is she doesn’t give up. Her assurance motivates her patients.”

But other than the Parsi community, Dr Anahita has healed hundreds of expectant mothers and has birthed and nurtured and enabled hundreds of healthy children, said a reader in an email to The Indian Express.

One of them is Angela Minocha, who is currently employed at Sir H N Reliance Hospital. At the age of 35, after getting pregnant with IVF treatment, Minocha was referred to Dr Anahita for her prenatal treatment.

While talking about her humane nature, she said, “On the first day when I met her, she held my hand when I was injected with a medicine. I was extremely anxious as I would Google my symptoms and get anxious. Then she asked me to disconnect from all the fear and connect with the symptoms emotionally.” On October 21, Minocha failed to elicit any reaction when Dr Pandole delivered her first child. “She changed my life forever,” she said.

Madhu Malhan, who for the last ten years has been consulting Dr Pandole, recalls her as a compassionate and kind person. Remembering one such instance, she narrated how Dr Pandole touched her forehead and assured her well-being while she dozed off under the influence of anaesthesia for a minor procedure. “Very few doctors treat their patients with so much compassion,” she said.

She also voiced against the people’s trial and hopes for her to recover physically and emotionally. “My heart goes out to the family of lives lost in the unimaginable tragedy. However, it’s not just plain wrong but outright cowardly to attack a person who is down and out. Let’s pause the devastating scrutiny and mudslinging just long enough for her to recover. She is battling — not just physically but emotionally. The scars and ramifications of this disaster could be life-long but let’s try to hold onto our basic decency and stop the people’s trial,” she said.

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