I grew up in Pavaratty, a village near Thrissur. From my childhood, I wanted to be a nun. I don’t know why I felt that way, but I wanted to serve people. Sadly, that dream got crushed. So, I did the next best thing. I studied nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Choondal. After all, in a way, it is also about serving people, right?

It’s close to 40 years since I became a nurse. I love everything about my job. Calming people down, consoling them, looking after the unwell. I feel it is my life’s calling. I still remember my first time in an operation theatre. I saw a baby being born. I was scared seeing all that blood. I never imagined I would spend my life helping deliver children! So far, I’ve handled about 4,000 cases with doctors and a thousand on my own. Each of those babies is special to me.

I worked in Bangalore, Ernakulam and Mettupalayam before moving here in 1991 as matron. After some years of regular duty, I moved to the IVF counselling section. I try to understand the pain and the depression of people who have tried unsuccessfully to have a baby … I speak to them about health, diet and, if nothing else works, about adoption. Why deprive yourself of the love of a child?

The life of a nurse is a mixture of joy, sorrow and some miracles. Sometimes, you cannot explain certain things scientifically. Once, when I was working in Mettupalayam, a girl had come in from Velankanni, ready to deliver. The doctor was on her way, and there was a sudden complication. I dropped everything and started praying. It was smooth sailing after that. I still get goose bumps thinking of that.

These days, many people come in with various health issues. I always speak to them about losing weight. It is wonderful to stay fit. But, some just don’t understand the importance of fitness. What can one do, but continue advising them?

My regular day begins at 5 a.m. I cook, clean and leave the house to reach the hospital by 10. I interact with patients till about lunch, take a break, and work till about 7. I love meeting people; they are my family outside the house. My children, a son and a daughter, sometimes see me at work, and ask me how I manage to pack in so much in a day. But, this job means more than just a way to run the house. It is a passion.

What gives me most joy? When the children I’ve helped deliver come and meet me. Many IVF parents call me ‘God Mummy’. Appo Maggy sister-ku full santhosham!

Maggy Simon, 59, is a Staff Nurse and IVF Counsellor at Rao Hospital