|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 71-72
Dr Jyotsna Murthy 1962-2020
Mukund R Thatte
Department of Plastic Surgery, Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Submission||05-Jul-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||05-Jul-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||31-Jul-2020|
Dr. Mukund R Thatte
Room 6, 2nd Floor, New Wing, Bombay Hospital, New Marine Lines, Mumbai - 400 020, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Thatte MR. Dr Jyotsna Murthy 1962-2020. J Cleft Lip Palate Craniofac Anomal 2020;7:71-2
It is a cruel irony to write the obituary of a person younger to you. However, such is life. With a heavy heart, I write this piece to honor my friend and colleague, Dr. Jyotsna Murthy nee Patel.
Jyotsna was born in Anand in Gujarat in 1962 and trained in Vadodara, Tata Memorial Center Mumbai, and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College (Sion Hospital) Mumbai for MBBS, M.S. (General) and M. Ch. (Plastic), respectively. In her stint in Plastic Surgery Dr. Ravin, L Thatte was the head and her lifelong mentor [Figure 1]. I was her Lecturer and Dr. NJ Mokal, her Senior Resident [Figure 2]. It was one of the most productive periods in the life of that department and Jyotsna was one of the torchbearers. Work was hard and heavy, but she was more than equal to it and managed to do it with flair and aplomb. If, during an operating list, I casually said “Jyotsna, I think we are falling behind schedule” she would miraculously organize two more theaters with nurses and anesthesiologists so that more cases could be done simultaneously. Not an easy task in a public teaching hospital. Her drive and dedication to the unit were exemplary.
Post qualification, she spent time in Paris where her husband was posted and not only managed to learn French but got jobs with luminaries like Prof Rene Malek, a pioneer in the field of clefts. Her own M. Ch. thesis was also on clefts and I remember while guiding her as co-guide, we could not find normative data for Indian Children. Both Dental colleges in Mumbai said it is not available. The two of us visited my son's primary school requested the principal and measured dental parameters on 100 kids for a price of 100 chocolates… nobody minded, it was noninvasive measurement, but today with IEC, etc., I am not sure we would have pulled it off. The paper, therefore, had genuine normative data in a bell curve under which we could fit her study data and come to meaningful conclusions. This is a small example of the drive she had within her.
She finally settled in Chennai and became Professor at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute. She also ran one of the most successful Smile train Programs of the country in that institute. Over the years, she became a leader in the field of Clefts and became president of the Indian Society of Cleft Lip palate and Craniofacial Anomalies. Over her illustrious career, numerous awards came her way, all richly deserved [Figure 3].
It was Jyotsna's grit and persistence that the World Congress was awarded to India in 2016 against stiff odds, her skills in building networks and International diplomacy was crucial in securing the award. She held it successfully in Chennai despite her health issues and it was a grand success.
Jyotsna was like a beacon, she lived life self-illuminated and on her own terms, and despite her illness, never let it deters her from her goals till the end. Unfortunately, cancer snatched her from among us, there was a lot more she had to contribute to Indian healthcare and science.
Jyotsna is survived by her husband Giridhar and son Madhav. Rather than mourn her death, I would like to celebrate her life and achievements and hope young surgeons take inspiration from it.
[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]