Dr. W. M. A. E. Weerasekera was a good, dedicated and caring physician who would not accept money from the poor. Friends and relatives called him Asoka.
Educated at Ananda College, he obtained his MBBS in Sri Lanka and worked in peripheral hospitals for a few years before proceeding to the UK for further studies, accompanied by his wife, son and daughter.
After specialising in otolaryngology or ENT (ear, nose and throat), he returned to Sri Lanka and was posted to the Kurunegala base hospital as the ENT surgeon. The people of Kurunegala and Dambulla called him “Bodhisaththa Dosthara Mahaththaya”. Even after retirement, he continued to visit Kurunegala to see his patients.
During his time in Kurunegala, Dr. Weerasekera devised a process to help people who had undergone a certain neck operation after consuming poison or being bitten by a venomous snake. Because such patients find breathing and eating solids difficult, an opening is made in the neck. As long as the opening is there, the patient’s voice is unclear. When the patient wants to speak, he has to cover the opening with a finger to make himself heard. The doctor applied a stent (or tube) to the affected part, secured with a stainless steel wire. This allowed the patient to speak normally.
Dr. Weerasekera demonstrated his unique medical procedure at the South Asia Regional Conference (SARC) of ENT surgeons held in Nepal a few years ago.
Why this unique system has not been adopted in this country is anybody’s guess.
At the age of 72, Dr. Weerasekera was struck by the dreaded disease that everyone fears.
As someone who moved very closely with Dr. Weerasekera, I find his loss very hard to bear.
Our deepest sympathies go to his ever-loving wife Prema, son Asantha, daughter Himani, daughter-in-law Mellisa, and his grandchildren.
Dr. Asoka Weerasekera, may your journey through Sansara be short, and may you achieve the ultimate goal of Nirvana in the shortest possible time.