Kochi: Dr VP Gangadharan, the popular oncologist in Kerala, claimed it was COVID and related diseases that took the life of the great actor. He dispelled the general notion that the 75-year-old who passed away on Sunday night had died of cancer.
Innocent was diagnosed with cancer nearly a decade ago and had successfully fought the dreaded disease. He had shared with the public updates on the diagnosis, treatment and finally cure. Notably, he even penned a book on how he battled the disease with a positive outlook.
"Many think cancer overpowered Innocent. Sitting in heaven, Innocent might be saying with a laugh: “do not worry, my cancer has been cured”," Dr Gangadharan said. He also recalled the time when the actor was diagnosed with cancer.
"Years ago, it was I who called Innocent and informed him of the result of a biopsy test. He was acting in the last scene of a cinema at the time. As the result was known, Innocent feared that he was doomed, but, from the next day he faced cancer in a light-hearted way," the doctor said while also lauding him for speaking about the disease openly.
"Despite his celebrity status he publicised his condition. Thus he became a model for society and provided consolation to those who were mentally weary. Many gained confidence from the way Innocent confronted with humour the popular belief that cancer is incurable and came out victorious. We have a lot to learn from Innocent. He fought the disease boldly and with a positive mind."
Many film stars used to give him advice on the disease. Many of them used to give him single-ingredient folk cures, phyto-medicines, and potions made from fruits. But he took the firm decision to seek only scientific methods of treatment. That is the reason why he was cured of cancer, Dr Gangadharan further recalled.
He also praised the actor for trusting the medical facilities in his homeland. "Even when many people went abroad for treatment, Innocent remained here despite having the means to do so. Through this, we got the message that the medical treatment in our land too is effective.
He has accompanied me on many travels for creating awareness on cancer. Innocent took a keen interest in conveying to other patients his positive experience of the cancer treatment and encouraging them. During his chemotherapy, Innocent took part in the activities of organisations such as “Kali Koottam” of the Kochi Cancer Society and invigourated the whole camp," the doctor added.