May 7th, 1968
This year began very quietly for Taxila. Up to about the middle of February the weather remained very cold
discouraging the start of the rush of 'eye patients'. The weather did let up a little late in February but proximity of
'Ed' festival kept most of the patients at home. 'Ed' was celebrated on 11th and 12th of March and our 'Eye Season'
began on the 13th. As most of you probably already know that we have no control on the beginning and the ending
of these so called 'Eye Seasons'. Some how like bird migration phenomenon it entirely depends on the whims and
fancies of patients but more so at the convenience of relatives of the patients who accompany them. This year the
'Eye Season' began on March 13th and ended on April 2nd. We believe and our statistics prove that these six weeks
saw the busiest and the heaviest 'Eye Season' of all times.
Our census for inpatients rose from 150 patients to over 800 patients. Only after April 2nd the census has
started to go down. We discouraged patients to get admitted since we can with difficulty accommodate about 700
patients. But none wanted to go back and so we just had to take everybody that came and we had to use one of the
doctors houses to accommodate the overflow from the hospital and that too. on the floor only since we could not
provide beds for all.
Total of24,275 patients were seen in this hospital up to April 2nd. 4,350 patients were admitted in the hospital.
3,203 major operations were done. Out of these 3,160 were Cataract operations only.
This 'Eye Season' Mrs Lall was confronted with the gigantic task of getting through this whole 'Eye Seasons'
work. We are grateful to God that she remained physically fit to accomplish this work. Not only she but the whole
staff has to be thanked and admired for the way they helped to get through this whole work. This rush of patients
presents a different kind of challenge to this hospital every year twice a year. We thank God for giving us personnel
who are able to do and overcome all the difficulties with courage and without complaining. We do compensate
the overwork financially to all the staff but really speaking only God can reward this devotion and hard work.
Now that the 'Season' is finished and hospital working hours are more regular we are able to catch up with
lost rest and sleep, and it gives us ti me to recuperate for the next 'Eye Season'. I hope you do not get the idea that we
become idle between two 'Eye Seasons' but on the other hand between now and middle of September some thing like
15 to 20 thousand patients will be seen in this hospital and about 2 to 3 thousand will be admitted for treatment.
Dr Donald P. Bixler and Dr James A. Bixler two practising Ophthalmologists from Anderson and Fort Wayne
in Indiana took out time to come and help us for two weeks from 13th to 27th of April. Dr Donald P. Bixler having
visited us before, knew the circumstances and our work and thus was able to see the clinic and operate on alternate days
so that Mrs Lall and myself were able to rest on alternate days. We appreciate their help and hope they will be able
to come back again to help us more.
Next few months wil! see lot of comings and goings in Taxila. Miss E.H. Turner our present nursing Superin-
tendent will leave for her furlough next month. She will be gone for atleast two years. We have no replacement
for her as yet and I hope that all of you will make an effort to induce some one to come out to Taxila for atleast
two years. Mrs Christy along with children will arrive on 14th of June. Norval will come later after sitting for his
board examination. Mrs Old with her children too will arrive about the same time but Mr Old will arrive late in
August to begin work on the New O.R. building which we hope will be completed by the middle of next year.
X-ray unit donated by SIMAVI in Holland came in and is in use now. We are really grateful for this gift.
Blood bank donated by Oxford Famine Relief in Oxford U.K., too arrived and is in use now. Patients are indeed
very grateful for this facility in this hospital since now they do not have to go to Rawalpindi to get blood for patients.
Basic improvements in water and electric supply to the hospital done last year paid their dividend this year. We
had no water shortage and no burnt out fuses and power failures as in old times. Of course our power generator too
is always ready to supply electricity if Hydroelectric power fails.
I can assure you that God has blessed this place even more than before and this fact along with your prayers and
personal interest has gone a long way to provide this great opportunity to offer medical help to the less fortunate
in this land and also giving us the opportunity to present the Love of Jesus to thousands who come to this hospital.
We ask for your prayers for this work in which we are engaged in Taxila.
Dr Ernest Lall.