Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray was an “obedient patient” whose humour often spilled into the doctor’s consulting room. So say doctors who treated Thackeray over the last 16 years for ailments of the heart, stomach and lungs. He followed the doctor’s prescription religiously and never took medical advice lightly.
Dean of Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, Dr TP Lahane, who conducted a minor laser eye surgery on him in March 2010, said Thackeray was a very co-operative patient. “He asked detailed questions about his ailment and besides being cooperative, also followed instructions,” Dr Lahane said, adding that he was awestruck that the Sena leader used to walk into a government-run hospital like the common man instead of opting for a larger set-up.
Gastroenterologist Amit Maydeo from Breach Candy hospital, who had known him over the last decade, said he was a very optimistic person who always cracked jokes with doctors.
“He maintained a register for his treatment, and the doctor visiting him was supposed to make a detailed mention of his course of treatment,” recalled Dr Maydeo. He added that Thackeray often sought to know how a particular line of treatment would help.
Cardiologist Samuel Mathew Kalarickal, who performed an angioplasty on him in 2009 and two on his son Uddhav, said Thackeray showed a lot of respect and trust for doctors. “I had met him after he underwent a bypass in 1996,” said Dr Kalarickal, recalling how he was initially apprehensive about operating on a powerful person like him.
“Later, I did the angioplasty on Thackeray... And he me that he and Uddhav had a lot of faith in me,” the cardiologist said.