This is a gentleman whom I have never seen. He had been out of my mind
for the last few decades and I had forgotten about his existence till my
sister sent me this picture today morning.
But I did hear a lot about him long back. Half a century ago. Dr Stanley John
was probably one of the very few in the country, who were conducting open
heart surgeries. At CMC Vellore. In fact I heard the name CMC Vellore only
when one of my cousins was taken there for surgery, to treat a heart condition.
An open heart surgery was something people had difficulty in believing to be
possible. Like landing on the moon ! I remember that my cousin was
accompanied by his father and four of his uncles. My father was one of them.
I understand that a high level delegation was necessary to see the place,
meet the doctors and decide whether to go for the surgery or not. It seems
the group of doctors talked to them with a lot of patience, explained the
procedure in detail and a thumbs up was given for the surgery. Dr John
must have been the leader of the group.
But I did not hear about Dr Stanley John, then. On hearing about the success
of the surgery, our neighbour decided to take his daughter to Vellore, to
consider a surgical option to treat Fallot’s Tetrology. He was a Freelance
journalist and an accomplished photographer.
He was extremely impressed with the personality of Dr Stanley John, and I
heard a lot about Dr Stanley from my neighbour. After the surgery of his
daughter, he visited CMC many times to photograph the OT and the
equipment and also to interview the doctors. This resulted in a detailed
pictorial which was published in the prestigious Illustrated Weekly Of India.
The obituary of Dr Stanley John brought out all these memories. I hope he
lived a full life, died peacefully and rests in peace.