Doctor at the forefront of COVID fight once overcame severe nerve disorder

Doctor at the forefront of COVID fight once overcame severe nerve disorder
Dr MM Hanish

Kochi: When Dr MM Hanish stands at the Cochin International Airport as the nodal officer for the fight against COVID-19, memories of a February day in 2015 flash through his mind.

That day, Dr Hanish, who had gone to Delhi for a training programme, had returned to Kochi on a wheelchair looking very tired — he had been diagnosed with a rare disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

It is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves and permanently damages them, resulting in paralysis.

Dr Hanish was then an assistant surgeon at the Ernakulam General Hospital.

The disorder afflicted him when he was preparing to return after the training.  “Fingers would bend, I would feel very tired and debilitated,” he said.

In just a day, his condition worsened so much that he needed the help of a wheelchair.

For several days after that, he was under treatment, involving many surgeries, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi and at the Amrita Hospital in Edappally, Kochi.

Then, for a very long time, he needed physiotherapy. In the end, he overcame the disorder and got back to life.

His wife Dr Ashna, colleagues and friends were very supportive during that period, said Dr Hanish. “All good things in my life happened to me after that difficult phase,” he said.

Earlier, his wife gave birth after going through a lot of treatment — she had triplets. The couple had another baby later.

He also got to perform in movies and plays. His career also progressed as he became the resident medical officer (RMO) of the Ernakulam General Hospital. 

He was appointed the secretary of the Kochi chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA); he is its vice-president now.

Professionally, he is with the Aluva District Hospital as an ENT surgeon.

Currently, Dr Hanish has the responsibility of planning the fight against COVID at the port and the airport. “Being a diabetic, I am at high risk of suffering from the complications that result from COVID. But, I am not afraid of it,” he said.

It has been 100 days since he moved from his house in Edappally to the IMA House in Kaloor to supervise the fight against COVID.

He visits his home occasionally, but only goes till the doorsteps to see his family. Recently, he celebrated the birthday of his triplets and also wished them by standing outside the gate.

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