6 year old boy requests doctor not to reveal about his cancer to parents

A heart wrenching episode has surfaced lately in news as a doctor from Hyderabad has recently shared his experience with a family. The said family constituted of a father, a mother and a six year old boy who had been diagnosed with cancer. Once this kid had requested the doctor to not to reveal about his cancer to his parents. Of course, the doctor could not keep the promise he had made to the six year old kid, because it was more important that he should reveal it to his parents so that the family can happily live the last few months of the kid. The doctor took to Twitter to narrate the whole episode, an emotional one for sure, which has earned a lot of comments. The original name of the patient was not revealed in the tweets by the doctor.

Dr Sudhir Kumar is a Neurologist at the Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad. He recently posted a series of tweets that revealed about the said emotional episode.

The doctor wrote, “6-yr old to me: “Doctor, I have grade 4 cancer and will live only for 6 more months, don’t tell my parents about this.”

Now the doctor on what occasion the 6 year old kid requested him about keeping his cancer secret to his parents. The doctor started narrating the episode, “It was another busy OPD, when a young couple walked in. They had a request “Manu is waiting outside. He has cancer, but we haven’t disclosed that to him+”

The parents were well aware of their son’s disease. However they did not want that their son should know that they know. The doctor tweeted, “Please see him and advise your treatment, and don’t share the diagnosis to him”. I nodded my head, accepting their request.”
Then the patient was brought.  “Manu, on a wheelchair, was brought in. He was referred by his #oncologist for management of seizures. He had a smile, appeared confident & smart,” the doctor tweeted.

The doctor found about disease of the patient. “On reviewing history and medical records- Manu had been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme grade 4 in left side of brain, due to which he had paralysis of right hand and leg. He had been operated, and was on chemotherapy. Seizures were due to brain cancer.”

Following the visit the kid requested the doctor to talk to him in private. “I discussed the medical treatment with parents and answered a few queries. They were about to leave, when Manu requested his parents to allow him to talk to me in private. Parents accepted his request,” tweeted the doctor.

And now comes the most emotional part of the episode. “After parents left the room to wait outside, Manu said- “Dr, I have read all about the disease on iPad and I am aware that I will live only for 6 more months but I haven’t shared this with my parents, as they would get upset. They love me a lot. Please don’t share with them,” tweeted the doctor.

The doctor was shocked to hear about request of the kid. “I was shocked and couldn’t speak for a few moments. I gathered myself- “sure, I will take care of what you said,” he tweeted.

However, the doctor could not keep the promise because it was very important to convey everything to the patient’s parents. “I called his parents and requested them to speak to me after making Manu wait outside. I shared the entire conversation that transpired between Manu and me. I couldn’t keep the promise to Manu, as it was important to bring family on the same page on this sensitive issue. It was vital that the family enjoyed together, whatever time was left. More so, as Manu knew about his illness. Whether he understood the gravity, I am unsure,” he tweeted.

And this was the reaction of the parents, “Parents were in tears but they were still thankful and left OPD with a heavy heart,” the doctor tweeted.

In the meanwhile 9 months passed. By then the doctor had almost forgot about what had happened. However, after 9 months this thing happened. “I had almost forgotten this incident, when about 9 months later, the couple returned to see me. I recognized them at once and enquired about Manu’s health,” he tweeted.

The patient passed away one month back when the parents met the doctor again after 9 months. So, when the doctor asked the parents about the kid, they said, “Doctor, we had a great time with Manu after we met you. He wanted to visit Disneyland and we went with him. We took temporary leave from job and spent quality time with Manu. We lost him a month back. Today’s visit is to just thank you for giving us those best 8 months,” the doctor also tweeted.

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