Hi, This is Adil Ray and I will be reading a story by Professor Andrew Ewer, which he has contributed to Gratitude, a wonderful public art installation which commemorates and pays tribute to the incredible work of our key workers and reflects the stories and contributions of this unprecedented time. Some listeners may find details in this story upsetting.
‘A TRIBUTE TO DR VISHNA RASIAH’ BY PROFESSOR ANDREW EWER
Dr Vish Rasiah was a pioneering NHS doctor who saved the lives of countless vulnerable newborn babies. Husband to Liza and father to Katelyn, as well as a respected and loved colleague at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Vish died after contracting Covid-19 in April 2020.
Dr Rasiah – known to all of us, his friends, as Vish – was a Consultant Neonatologist at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and was highly-regarded across the Midlands for his pioneering care of some of the sickest and most vulnerable babies.
There is so much I want to say about him; a few words is barely enough.
He was loved by so many, and I speak on behalf of his whole ‘neonatal family’ when I express how much he means to us.
Vish loved his work and the NHS; to him it was so much more than a job. He treated every patient and family he cared for as his own, and so to lose him to Covid-19 was a cruel blow.
He was an incredibly gifted doctor with extraordinary clinical skills who used his talents to save the lives of countless newborn babies.
He consistently delivered the kind of care we all aspire to.
But, what to me is even more important, is how his qualities as a human being enhanced these skills.
Ask anyone about Vish’s character and the words you will consistently hear are ‘modest’, ‘humble’, ‘caring’, ‘kind’, ‘gentle, ‘compassionate’, ‘generous’, ‘hard-working’, ‘dedicated’, ‘calm’, ‘supportive’, ‘inspirational’, ‘smiling’ and ‘very funny’. All qualities which, as well as skill, are so vitally important for a doctor but rarely found in such abundance as we saw in Vish.
There are so many things we all miss; his quiet, unassuming manner, his easy smile, his infectious, mischievous chuckle, his immediate rapport with everyone he met, the instant sense of reassurance when dealing with a challenging baby and seeing him come into the room.
As all who met him will know, Vish called everyone ‘boss’ – a clear sign of his natural humility.
But Vish was always the ‘Boss’ to us. He was the beating heart of our Neonatal Unit, our beacon, our guiding star, and his legacy lives on through the doctors and nurses he trained and the families whose lives he touched.
At home, he was a proud husband to Liza and father to his wonderful daughter Katelyn, who he absolutely doted on. His whole family, both here in the UK and abroad in Malaysia and Trinidad, meant the world to him.
It was such an honour and a privilege to have known him and I will be forever grateful that he was such a major part of my life, and to say he truly was my friend.
Vish is irreplaceable, we will always remember him, and we miss him every day.
Thank you for listening to this story. For more stories and information on Gratitude, please visit: www.thisisgratitude.co.uk