Plus - Appreciations

A young life that touched so many people

Sahani Ratnayake

Sahani Ratnayake was too young to die. She was full of life and bubbling with spirit that even though three months have passed since her death, we still find it hard to come to terms that she is no more. But Sahani, the devout Buddhist, illustrated in her untimely death, Buddha’s teachings of anichche - impermanence of life.

While Sahani has left a lasting memory, her parting has created a huge void at the German Embassy. This appreciation by her colleagues, is not only a special tribute to her but also to the doctors and hospital staff of two hospitals Klinikum Fürstenfeldbruck and Palliativmedizin of Kreisklinik Fürstenfeldbruck, who attended on Sahani, her foster father Rudolf Raschke and friends in Germany who were there for her in her hour of need, in the absence of her family in Sri Lanka.

When Sahani realized she was sick, she suddenly decided to go to Germany, partly to keep the news from her mother who she felt would have worried.

Mr. Raschke, on Sahani’s arrival in Germany admitted her to Klinikum Fürstenfeldbruck where investigations revealed she needed immediate surgery. But with no health insurance policy or the means to meet the costly medical bills, Sahani had decided to return to Sri Lanka, when the Hospital’s Chief Surgeon Dr. M. Schwoerer offered his services free of charge. Sahani therefore was able to undergo surgery just four days after her arrival in Germany.

Unfortunately, according Mr. Raschke, her illness had reached an advanced stage and surgery did not help. She also needed various kinds of therapies and medical treatment and her hospitalization was prolonged. Realising her plight, the hospital staff brought down the medical bills to the barest minimum with some staff waiving their fees. The staff had even kept her spirits up during her final days, showering her with flowers and other gifts.

Sahani’s friends in Germany in the meantime, who had taken turns to be by her bedside had taken care of whatever medical bills that had to be settled.

The least we could do is to say a big ‘thank you’ to Sahani’s friends in Germany and the doctors, surgeons and other staff at both hospitals.

May Sahani attain the bliss of Nirvana!

Her colleagues at the German Embassy

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