Pradeep (Prad) Natarajan (d. 8 July 2012)

Dear all,
Our colleague anesthetist Pradeep (Prad) Natarajan, who worked with MSF-OCB in South Sudan for 4 months, finishing at the end of January 2012, died on the 8th of July in a car accident in the United Kingdom. We are shocked to hear of his sudden death. He was only 38 years old.

All our thoughts are with his family.

“I had known Prad only for a very short time and only walked the same path he was walking right then for a few months. Prad was not only a very good colleague; but also a warm friend. I will not forget the moments that I called him at night to help me with a resuscitation of a newborn. I will not forget his sleepy answers when I called him very early in the morning or late at night to tell him to come to the maternity. He sounded like he was still half asleep and he did not get the message completely, I think his brain had not waken up completely yet. Until I told him I would appreciate it if he came quickly because my hand was stuck trying to get a placenta out.

Nor will I forget that one night he came to the ward for an emergency, all covered in glittering powder.
It was Christmas and we had all been celebrating, relaxing and having fun. Glitters flew around and people got covered. But Prad got a real shower of those glitters. But in a mission reality is always around, so when he was called for an emergency, he did not have the time to consider how he was looking and showed up like a glittering star.

But what we both certainly would never forget was the day I just arrived in the project. He had been there for a while, and I was only there for a few hours when I called upon him to assist me in a procedure I had never done before. I will never forget the trust he inspired in me that day. I can image it has to be extremely hard for a doctor to assist a midwife -especially one you don’t know- in a minor surgery. Even more if this midwife is telling you what to do. But he trusted me, making me feel supported to do something I had never done before. Thanks to him I could end the procedure well and I will always remain grateful for that moment. And my first night did not end right them. About 20 minutes later he managed to save the life of a child that would certainlyhave died by performing an emergency cesarean section as the regular surgeon was not around. That night was a magical night, a night that brought all of us, all the medicals involved, together in a way that you can not easily bring people together. That night we ran on adrenaline and this has created a very unique connection.

Prad was a very good person. Always willing to explain, always willing to help out, always there to be your friend and always willing to believe in people. Thank you for bringing such a wonderful person in this world. He has made a change in this world.”

Nele Segers, midwife MSF

(... from CONTACT No.118)

By: Rebecca Cederholm