Top surgeon dies 2 days after fire

Senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Kekoo Kavarana (76), who was battling severe smoke inhalation injuries, breathed his last at Breach Candy Hospital–a place where he operated and gave a new lease of life to patients over three decades–late on Saturday evening.

ThumbnailsHis wife Feroza, who too was asleep in the house when a fire broke out on Thursday , continues to be under treatment at the hospital.

A Breach Candy Hospital source said that Dr Kavarana’s lungs had suffered serious injury from inhaling the smoke. He was on life-support since the time he was brought to the hospital in a critical, unconscious condition. The couple’s pet had already perished One of his colleagues told TOI that he was hoping Dr Kavarana would beat the odds and survive. Orthopae dic surgeon Dr Sanjay Desai remembered the veteran orthopaedician as a thorough gentleman who remained humble through his career.“He was a fine surgeon. His death is extremely tragic,“ he said. He also recalled how besides Breach Candy Hospital, Dr Kavarana’s big living room doubled as his consulting room. Dr Kavarana hailed from a family of doctors and had graduated from Grant Medical College attached to the JJ Hospital in 1966. He went on to complete a sevenyear stint in UK where he picked up the nuances of arthroscopy .

The doctor’s son and daughter-in-law, who also lived in the house, managed to escape but couldn’t come back to rescue the couple as the fire was raging. The blaze was doused after nearly four hours. The police were the first to respond to the emergency as they noticed the flames from across the road.

Below is a 2013 article published in the Afternoon DC on Dr. Kavarana

Dr. Kekoo S. Kavarana: orthapadic surgeon

Looking back on the years gone by – and ever so quickly, one often reflects on what one has achieved. Ever since he could remember, he knew that he wanted to become a medical doctor. Seeing his father Dr. Minocher Kavarana at work must have rubbed off on him Before he finished school he knew that he wanted to take up surgery. His father let him loose one day and requested one of his colleagues if he could see an operation. He still remembers what it was, a hemi-lobectomy, removing half a lung and that sealed his fate.

He was not particularly a bright student, but his intense desire to become a doctor and to get into medical college was a driving force. His parents especially his mother made sure that he studied diligently to enable him to get a 1st class in the intermediate science examination to enable him to get a seat in a medical college and there was no looking back. After doing a term in Orthopaedics he knew that that was his life’s calling. The fact that one of his hobbies was carpentry certainly helped in later years!

He graduated from Grant Medical College in 1966 and completed his Masters in Orthopaedic Surgery in 1970. The following year he proceded to U.K. and was lucky to get an attachment with the University of Dundee in Scotland where he spent Seven years honing his skills. He had the luck and privilege to work with Prof. Ian Smillie the father of knee surgery in the U.K. and of International fame. He learnt a lot about this speciality before arthroscopy (looking into a joint with a scope) and MRI came into vogue. During this period he got a fellowship with the University of Paris and had an opportunity to observe and work with some of the leading names in Orthopaedics there.

After seven years abroad, he decided to return to Mumbai and set up his practice.  Early days were difficult but with time and hard work he gradually established himself. In due course, he was appointed as consulting orthopaedic surgeon to the Breach Candy Hosp., Parsee General Hosp.,and the Conwest Jain Group of Hospitals.

In 1984 he was invited to join the premiere Rotary Club of Bombay. Rotary is an International social service organization and gives one the opportunity to give of oneself in different avenues of service. In 1995, he rose to become President of the Club. It was a wonderful period that gave him pleasure to lead this renowned club.

Dr. Kekoo advices the youth of today and the leaders of tomorrow that firstly, there is no substitute for hard work. It may take time, but in the end it pays rich dividends. Things don’t always fall into your lap when you want it. Keep trying and you will always succeed. When you are young you ate like a sponge. Soak in whatever you can and the experience thereof will make you wiser. Unfortunately many of todays youth want everything yesterday. It doesn’t work that way.

Work hard, work patiently and work with diligence. That and only that will pay rich dividends.