The Smile Maker Doctor

The Smile Maker  Doctor

I knew Dr.Adenwalla personally, when I worked in Jubilee mission Hospital, (JMH) Trichur (then), Kerala, India through my working in General Surgery, in 1974-1975 period. He joined JMH, in 1958 as a young doctor who was then all in all, doing casualty work, setting fractures, doing general surgical and ENT work in a restricted space and limited resources. Since then, the growth of JMH was phenomenal, and now it is a teaching hospital with many blocks of multi storey buildings. 

When I worked in JMH, there were two other surgeons, (both of them were also from Bombay), and two junior doctors. Everyday he started early at 8 am dressed in his white shorts, T shirt, and with his Integral round lens spectacles. After the outpatient clinic, he used to go for a ward round, which was very elaborate, time consuming and one should have a lot of patience to follow him. So was the case in assisting abdominal surgical operations, and plastic surgical operations like repairing cleft lip and palate. He performed these operations  meticulously and devoted a very long time to get the best result. About 25 years ago, when I went to Thrissur, I heard someone calling me ‘Dr.George’, and passed his gratitude to me for doing the cleft palate operation so satisfactorily. I corrected him, saying that I was only an assistant to Dr.Adenwalla. In fact , hardly anybody could  detect that the person in front of me was born with a cleft palate, such was the precision of Dr.Adenwalla’s job.

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What I gather now is that he has performed 16000 such  facial malformation operations, without having a super speciality qualification in plastic surgery. So his name goes with the smile maker doctor. I remember him going with his daughter to Banerjee Club, Thrissur by car to play lawn tennis, and if he would see me returning home, he would stop to give me a lift. Once he told me about a painful and humiliating incident. One day, when he was walking  with his wife near the Nehru park, close to Banerjee Club, some miscreant boy threw cow dung at them. Both of them were soiled with cow dung and looked shabby. He tried to chase the boy unsuccessfully, with his body, shorts and T shirt smeared with cow dung. 

Every month, the heads of department of JMH in turn entertained other doctors with a drink party party.  After the dinner, if Dr.Adenwalla found, any of us were not sober, he would personally take the trouble to take us to our home in the midnight. Every month he chaired a clinical meeting, and he had the gift of the gab in presenting a variety of surgical cases. Dr.Adenwalla attended my wedding in 1977, and the last time I met him was in 1989, when I briefly settled in India.

 Dr.Adenwalla was an extremely dedicated person and the happiness of the patient was his first concern. He was 90 years old when he passed away peacefully in May 2020, leaving heaps of memories .  His dedication helped a lot of children to regain confidence and smile!

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Dr.C.J.George FRCS

This blog is about my experience as a doctor working in various countries in different clinical set up. This experience spans through 45 years, in which I acquired a lot of favourable contacts and unfavourable encounters. I shall dig deep into them and make it interesting to the readers. Unlike others in the profession, I worked as a community medical officer in a remote areas, prison medical officer, benefit service medical officer, in cardiac surgery in prestigious institutions and as a private doctor. I was managing my own businesses, and real estate in three continents. I hope the information I impart will be valuable to the like minded readers.

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