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Fortis celebrates Rheumatoid Arthritis patient’s life struggle through motivational wall art

For 53-year-old Seema Sood, life had come to a standstill after an
attack of Rheumatoid Arthritis rendered her bedridden for many years. Dejected and hopeless,
Seema had also petitioned the President for euthanasia (mercy killing). Struck by her plight, Fortis
Hospital Mohali management offered her free of cost treatment and Dr Anil Abrol, Consultant,
Department of Rheumatology treated her. As Seema’s condition began to improve, she mustered
courage and driven by the motto – Don’t give up on life – sought refuge in creative art.
 
To celebrate her unwavering hope and how she had emerged victorious in the face of
adversity, Fortis Hospital Mohali has dedicated a wall on the facility premises for Seema to
showcase her paintings. The aim is to sensitise people on Rheumatoid Arthritis, caregiving for
patients with this disease and how debilitating diseases are not a deterrent for creativity.
 
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the
body’s healthy tissues. The condition causes pain, swelling and stiffness in joints, may result in low
red blood cell count, and inflammation around the lungs and heart.
 
Seema is a gold medallist and has graduated from BITS Pilani (Birla Institute of Technology and
Science, Rajasthan) with dual degrees – M.Sc in Engineering Technology with 90% and Masters in
Engineering with 98%. At 28, her life turned topsy-turvy and she found herself walking with a stick in

  1. Her health condition deteriorated and she was confined to her bed. The real trouble began in
    1988 when doctors thought that Seema was suffering from osteoarthritis, but on the contrary, it was
    rheumatoid arthritis. The incorrect diagnosis contributed to her agony.
     
    In 2005, when Seema’s condition worsened, she was advised joint and hip replacement surgery,
    costing about Rs 10 lakh. Unable to handle the extreme immobility and high cost of treatment,
    Seema then petitioned the President of India for euthanasia (mercy killing) in 2007. The then
    Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal got to know about Seema’s petition and
    assured that the state government would incur all her medical expenses. Even though she
    underwent a surgery in 2008, Seema kept experiencing acute pain and discomfort for nearly seven
    years.
     
    Moved by her condition, the Fortis Mohali management offered her free of cost treatment in 2014
    and Dr Anil Abrol, Consultant, Department of Rheumatology, Fortis Hospital Mohali, was able to
    make a correct diagnosis of her medical condition, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and treated her for the
    same. Following extensive treatment, Seema made a swift recovery and her health began to
    improve. This gave her a new zeal of life and heralded the start of her art journey. “I bought a pack
    of colours for Rs 10 and a drawing book. My first painting, The Red Rose, was appreciated by one and
    all. I now have more than 50 paintings to my credit,” said Seema with a joyful glint in her eyes.
     
    On what prompted her to take to painting, Seema, said, “It helps me forget my pain and I’m able to
    express my inner creativity. My canvas motivates me and I paint to bring joy to myself and to others.”
     
    Meanwhile, lauding the efforts of the Fortis Mohali management, Seema, said, “I had resigned
    myself to fate but Dr Anil Abrol has transformed by life. I also want to thank the Fortis management,

particularly facility director Abhijit Sir for offering me free of cost treatment. It has given me a new
hope to live. I also want to thank my batchmates, friends at Pilani and my family for motivating me
at all times and lending me support to tide over the crisis.”
 
All praise for Seema’s determination, Abhijit Singh, Head-SBU, Fortis Hospital Mohali,
said, “Seema’s paintings are a celebration of life. She has shown exemplary grit and determination
despite undergoing a tough time. I encourage everybody to buy her paintings which will motivate her
to do more in life.”

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