By Fr. Glenford Lowe | Opening Doorz Editorial | May 27, 2017

What could possibly happen when a Catholic Priest and the Salesian Community is witness to the largesse of a benevolent Doctor? Faith in humanity is restored. Fr Glenford Lowe, who donated his kidney to Fr Lloyd Rodrigues on July 26, 2011, is at a loss for words on learning of the demise of Dr. Sharad Nagorao Sagade (consultant Urologist at the Hinduja Hospital) who breathed his last on May 26, 2017.

“He walked the corridors of Hinduja Hospital not only with a stethoscope round his neck, but with a HALO above his head. We have lost a saint,” mourns Fr Glenford Lowe.

Death has often knocked on many doors. Death has no favourites too. The young and the old, the wise and the fool, the rich and the poor, the good and the bad—no one can escape death’s invitation. Most die without having really lived! A few leave this world with a rich legacy to follow. Dr. Sharad Nagorao Sagade is one such luminous life that left behind a trail of light. He breathed his last on May 26, 2017 after a few months of battling pancreatic cancer.

His credentials were simple: Dr. Sharad Nagorao Sagade, M.S (General Surgery), M.Ch. (Urology), Dip. In Lapraoscopic Urology (France). But behind this thin, tall, frail body was a giant of a man. The ‘primum non nocere’—First, do no harm, a phrase that forms the first part of the physicians ‘Hippocratic Oath’, was the guiding compass in his medical profession.

I was fortunate to encounter Dr. Sagade at the Hinduja Hospital, Mahim, in early February 2011. I had come forward to donate my kidney to a fellow priest-cousin Fr. Lloyd Rodrigues. The battery of medical tests that I had to undergo first was numerous and time consuming too due to the long lines of patients waiting to meet Dr. Sagade. Dr. Alan Almeida, (Consultant Nephrologist), would often refer me to meet Dr. Sagade for immediate consultation. His door was always open for a quick check-up and a prompt follow-up.

My first impression of Dr. Sagade was one of awe. In the midst of his very busy medical profession and the many patients he had to encounter each day, I would often ask myself, “What keeps this doctor so serene and calm? What is it that still keeps the smile on his face? What makes him walk the extra mile to ensure that his patients are given the best treatment? What makes him transcend above mere monetary gains in his medical profession?”

My answer came one day when I met Mrs Suchita, a counsellor at Hinduja Hospital, who was preparing me for the kidney transplant procedures and legal matters. I casually asked her: “So how is Dr. Sagade?” and she responded immediately, “Fr. Glenn, to us he is more than a doctor. He is a saint!”

He is a saint! Without a doubt, I have heard many of the patients and fellow doctors confirm the same. On July 26, 2011, after a lot of medical tests and legal procedures, I had the privilege of having my kidney transplant surgery done by this saintly surgeon. While on the operation table, he had to take the immediate decision to have my rib cut in order not to damage the kidney. A few hours after my surgery, while back in my ward bed, the nurse realised that I had some serosanguinous discharge from the wound site. Dr. Sagade’s response was swift. The ward became an emergency room with all his fellow team surgeons and nurses to ensure that I was put back on track. He visited me each day: he smiled more and spoke less. That was healing to me!

When I was discharged from the hospital on August 1, 2011, my medical bill indicated the following: Surgeon’s charges INR 00.00/-

He never took a rupee for his surgical fees. That was the generosity of the man. In a time when the medical profession is plagued by scams of monetary gains, here was one who could waive off the entire cost! I know for sure, that hundreds of patients like me have been free beneficiaries too.  On my many visits to the hospital for my post-operative care, I would have a very brief encounter with him in the corridor to thank him for his successful surgery and his generosity bestowed on me.

He was one who made his Operation Room a ‘sanctuary’, every healing a ‘blessing from God’ and every encounter with a patient an opportunity to serve with love. His heart was with and for the poor and the economically backward. They have lost a giant of a man.

“Why do bad things happen to good people?” was a question many asked when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He, who had reached out to thousands of patients in need of medical care and attention, could now find no cure for his own condition. Death stared him in the face. His fellow surgeons and medical team could only silently stand by as he fought the cancer.

On my Facebook account, when I made a post concerning his death, in one of the replies, I read these words: “Words are not enough to describe Dr. Sagade, He is not only one of the best urologist in Mumbai, but also an amazing human being! His care for all his patients is tremendous. A Selfless soul, truly an angel sent by God upon earth in the form of a doctor—humble, caring, down-to-earth, selfless.”

May the sanctity and the healing that we all experienced in Dr. Sagade, be a challenge for us all too. In the midst of our everyday toil, one can still be a saint! He walked the corridors of Hinduja Hospital not only with a stethoscope round his neck, but with a HALO above his head.

(In the picture above: Fr Glenford Lowe (right) with Fr Lloyd Rodrigues)

Also Read: Nadim Memon: The Commitment Man

 

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27 Comments »

  1. I was one of his patients of prostrate gland operation in the year 2011 and he has restored my life without charging any fees .the deposit kept post operation of Rsw 20000 was refunded by him ,being a dad of some persons of medical background .such a selfless and dedicated service has no explanation with me and only I can offer him as my god is let his soul Rest In Peace
    Sharad varadkar
    Via london

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  2. I was associated with Dr Sharad Sagade from 1985 when I was doing my nephrology training at Grant Medical College and J J Hospital in Mumbai. He was instrumental in starting the Kidney Transplant program in Aurangabad with me in 1989. He used to travel by MSRTC bus, never stayed in any hotel, used to sleep in the hospital, and above all never took a rupee from anyone for his services. He was a Gem of a person and a true friend. What happened to him in the end was very saddening and heart breaking. I feel that God has done wrong here in taking away such a great Doctor from us.

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  3. When I joined as a junior doctor way back in 1992 at Hinduja hospital, I got introduce to Dr Sharad Sagade. He has been an example of a perfect human being and a perfect doctor. I was blessed to be associated with many a doctors who were ambassadors of ethics and perfect humanity and Dr Sharad Sagade reigned supreme among them. Iam sure his thoughts have influenced atleast a couple of generation of doctors . Let the trail of his illumination light up the generation of doctors to come by.

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  4. In 2013 Dr. Sagade performed a major prostate operation on me . During me recovery period in Hinduja we developed quite a rapport and despite his heavy schedule we would have long chats.
    When paying my bill prior to discharge I noticed the surgeons fee had been reversed , no there is no mistake , Dr. Sagade often waives his fee, said the cashier.
    During a follow up meeting , I tried to persuade him to accept his fees, but he wouldn’t budge . Finally we reached a compromise when I made out a cheque to his favourite charity , The Nina Foundation , for paraplegics.
    I am deeply ,deeply saddened by the passing away of ‘Sant’ Sagade as he was known among Hinduja staff.

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  5. I was operated by Dr Sagade for megaureter and reimplantation.
    He was an absolutely committed and sincere doctor. Even late at night he would visit me post operation in the ward before taking his long journey back to the distant surburbs where he lived at the time. He was totally selfless and dedicated and not at all money minded. I didnt know he was suffering from pancreatic cancer until a few weeks back. I was shocked and wondered why good people have to suffer. Inscrutable are the ways of the Almighty. Just about 3 months or si back I had sought his advice on the phone on which doctor I should consult for a problem and he readily gave the reference.May his soul rest in piece.

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  6. A great, touching true story that brought tears to my eyes. Such persons are truly a blessing for everyone around them. How badly we need saintly healers like him!

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  7. I hold dr.Sagade in great esteem. .many years back having met him at various consultation for relatives..his competency was unparalleled… simplicity was endearing..salute to a great doctor..May God bless his soul and keep him in heaven .

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  8. I, Dr Atul Patil from Jalgaon, Maharashtra, worked in Hinduja Hospital in 2002 in anaesthesia department. I got the opportunity to work with him. He was really a gem of a person. Many times after late night operations he used to sleep in the post operative care area rather than sleeping in the suite of hospital. He also used to play beautiful flute. He was highly respected in Hinduja Hospital. May his soul rest in peace. A very big loss to the society, I will say.

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    • Wonderful, heart-warming testimonies, Glenn. Worth publishing an article about him in MAGNET. May be you can write a life skills feature about him, as someone who showed us how to live well and meaningfully. What do you say, Glenn? Joe

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  9. I too was blessed by this Saint when another saint Dr. Jatin Kothari referred me to Dr. Sagade who did my Kidney Transplant in 2014. I was admitted for 17 days & without fail he came everyday and enquired about me. His smile and his magic touch gave a feeling of devine presence around. Still remember those words I heard for those 17 days. ” Kai re, kasa aahes ? ” May your soul Rest in peace & may the almighty give your family & All your colleagues in Hinduja Hospital the strength to overcome this huge loss.

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  10. It was one of my bed ridden patient here in chembur who needed urgent urological consultation, but was underprivilaged to reach to Hinduja Hospital,
    I phoned Dr Sagade sir, who readily agreed to come and see this patient a day after in the evening.
    It was a pleasant surprise for me when i received a phone call from hinduja hospital on the scheduled evening where it was Dr Sagade himself on the other side informing me that in next 30 minutes he shall reach kurla railway station and wanted my help theirafter to reach to patients house,
    Dr Sagade was travelling by a mumbai local train !!! and than after alighting at kurla we took an auto to patients house at Laxmi colony , chembur and throughout this road travel too i found him very comfortable….;
    Only saints can be so tall yet so humble and simple.

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  11. My daughter had a problem of stone in the kidney and we went to Dr. Sagade. He operated on my daughter and the days she was in Hindujya hospital, he visited her at least twice a day with his team of motivated doctors, sometimes even after mid night after his operations. His soft spoken words and smile was so comforting and reassuring . Truely he was a saint with a halo. We will always miss a wonderful human being and a caring noble doctor. May his soul rest in peace.

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  12. it is very rare to have such a human being serene calm and with a kindness. god bless his soul. after reading the above article i too feel he is no less than god amongst us. saint sagade doctor sastang namaskar.

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  13. Dr.Sharad Sagade was the husband of the very fortunate Dr.Sandhya Sagade (Sandhya Bhagwat). Sandhya and I grew up together as next door neighbours in Chembur. Attended their wedding too. Dr.Sharad Sagade’s passing away has literally left a void in the medical fraternity. Apart from being a very talented urologist at Hinduja Hospital he was a human being non pareil. I too have been the recipient of his unique benevolence, when he totally waived off his fees of Rs.50,000/- when my mother had undergone a major surgery at Hinduja about 15 months ago. His loss has indeed been a most shattering experience for our family. I and my family pray to the Almighty to give enough strength and fortitude to the Sagade family to bear this bitterest blast of adversity. Such human beings are born just one in ten million! RIP Dr. saab

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  14. In 2015 my husband also had a prostrate surgery and Dr. Sagade restored his life without any charges. Even the charges of the various consultation visits were free. He was a soft spoken and a very calm doctor. Truly as Fr. Glenford says, Dr. Sagade is a saint. When my husband was discharged, I thanked him and said “I will pray for you”. His reply was :”Pray that every patient I minister will be healed” His heart and soul was on the patients he attended. May God raise him to be a saint. And may his soul rest in peace.

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    • Dr Sagade treated my father for years. Always so positive with my father, never letting him know that he was suffering from cancer. Truly agree that he was a saint. He will be missed by millions people. I clearly remember how many patients waited for him on his free clinic days. Always so full of life can’t believe he is no more. May his soul rest in peace.

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  15. Dr.Sagade had treated my father in Hinduja Hospital when he was admitted in 2011. My father was suffering from COPD and was treated by dr.Ashok Mahashur. He was also detected of enlarged prostate gland. Dr.Sagade treated my father medically and advised me that he was not fit for a surgery. My father followed his medical advise and till date did not need the surgery. He even today take the medicine prescribed by Dr.Sagade. We are deeply saddened by his untimely demise. Our sincere and heartfelt ccondolences to his family and his colleagues in P.D.Hinduja Hospital. May his noble soul rest in peace.

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  16. For those who didn’t know him, he was not only a insanely talented doctor but also a human with a huge heart. Not taking fees from the poor and refusing to take his surgery charges when requested. These are just the few examples you might hear about this extraordinary gentleman. It is unfair that this gem of a soul has parted his way into heaven. He deserves all our thanks and prayers for countless lives he saved. May his soul rest in peace. Thank you Father, for writing about him.

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  17. We have also been recipients of his immense compassion. When urinary complications arose out of the auto immune disorder of a family member we met him but the control and reigning in of the autoimmune disease being the priority we did not see him again for several months. He stayed in touch how ever – We would get enquires from him periodically about the health and progress of treatments. His door was always open for us -Several consultations were kindly arranged without prior appointments and without making us wait beyond the scheduled time. We sought his help for several needs in various departments of the hospital and he was always ready to help despite his busy schedule. He refunded his charges every time despite our protests. The cashiers at the hospital requested patients to pay his consultation fees in cash so that refunding would be possible. After an investigative procedure held in the day, he visited us in the wee hours of the morning for his rounds(after having operated into the nigh)t and at our surprise at his still being in the hospital he reasoned ‘ Aap log theek honge tub hee to hum aaram Karenge’ . And the bill at our discharge showed the surgeons fees as 0! Words cannot express the experience of being in his aura. He seemed to me to be a doctor in a hurry to treat as many sick people as possible, even funding poor patients who could not afford Hinduja. I bow in respect and gratitude to this great soul. He gave us the much needed support by being the kind, humble, compassionate human that he was.

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  18. RIP to Dr Sharad Sagda,
    I have no words for such a wonderful person who gave a new life to my son ,he is a god for me and my fly .God this is very unfair on yur side to take away a person like him who his give new life to people like us .A person who always tells me dont worry every thing will be alright with his smile .
    My his soul rest in peace.

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    • How inspiring, how moving to read what so many patients have felt about this godly man who walked the earth bringing divinity and physical healing to so many. May the world be blessed to receive more saints like him. Fr Joe Mannath SDB

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  19. This is what I wrote about Dr Sagade (I refuse to write Late Dr Sagade) on Sept 26,2016 as an answer to my question on QUORA site “As-an-esteemed-author-would-you-like-writing-biography-of-this-doctor?”
    “The doctor is an urologist in a well known private hospital in Mumbai.
    He has a saintly outlook(long white beard). He might be in his seventies.
    In his OPD, daily about 30-40 patients can be seen waiting for him for his appointment for an average of about 6-8 hours.
    Patients are told that whatever time it takes, he will see all the patients.
    On most of the days he is in operation theater from afternoon till evening. His OPD starts at about 6.00P.M and continues till about 12.00 A.M.
    After 12.00 A.M he takes round of wards to visit his in house patients.
    His team of about 10 doctors who take 24×7 care of patients in seamless manner.
    His integrity is so contagious that each and every doctor of his team has become mini version of himself.
    Would appreciate if an author takes up writing his biography.”

    URL https://www.quora.com/As-an-esteemed-author-would-you-like-writing-biography-of-this-doctor

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  20. I have visited and consulted Doctor Sagade Thrice to seek his advise on the medical conditions and surgery, He was available and met me even without appointment and provided guidance. He refunded the fees paid and twice he said to come directly without fixing appointment. Even in 2015 when Bombay Hospital denied to take the case ahead, He was guiding me late 11:30PM in the Knight at Hinduja Hospital and gave me patience and ready to take the case. Also he arranged for sandwitch and Tea for me, No doctor will refund the fees and arrange for refreshment like he did.
    I have seen Patients touching his feet and his goodwill among them, waiting for him till 12PM in the Knight.
    He was great person, a Saint in Doctor’s form. My pray to God to Grant him peace and place in the heaven. Jai Shree Ram.

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