To tide over the loss, he had been providing free medical aid to his patients on December 26

December 26 is a date general physician A. Mohamed Ismail (39) of Kottampatti near here wants to forget forever. But it keeps recurring year after year and drowns him in memories of the 2004-tsunami which virtually orphaned him by killing seven of his family members at one go.

The doctor had lost his father, mother, brother, sister, wife, cousin and a two-year-old niece to the tidal waves during their visit to Nagore in Nagapattinam district. His wife died within eight months of their marriage in 2004 and he could not even lay his hands on her dead body. “After surviving the tsunami, I managed to trace the bodies of my father, mother and three others. The bodies were brought and buried with full respects. But, unfortunately, I could not succeed in finding the bodies of my wife and cousin,” he said with moist eyes.

To tide over the loss and regain his composure, he had been providing free medical aid to his patients on December 26 every year. Touched by the gesture, his patients hailing from villages in and around Kottampatti paid him back through their blessings on Thursday. “Let his children live longer and healthier,” is how T. Prema, grandmother of an eight-month-old baby boy suffering from stomach ache, from K. Alampatti wished the doctor.

Dr. Ismail had married his dead wife’s younger sister in 2006 at the instance of his in-laws and is now a father of twin boys born in 2009. “My sons are hardly four years old but they have already performed Haj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca) three times so far. Since my parents died before their maiden Haj pilgrimage, I have made it a point to go on pilgrimage every year,” he said with a sense of satisfaction.

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