Chennai: Days after J Jayalalithaa breathed his last after suffering cardiac arrest, the medical staff at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai recounted the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader's 75-day stay.
The 68-year-old Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital on September 22.
A team of 16 nurses was posted in three shifts to monitor her health. CV Sheela, MV Renuka, and Samundeeswari were among her favourites, said a report in The Times of India.
Jayalalithaa referred the trio as 'King Kong'.
CV Sheela, one of the three nurses, recalled: "Several times, she would say, 'You tell me what to do. I will do it'."
"She smiled at us when we walked in, chatted with us, and, on most occasions, cooperated. When we were around, she made an effort to eat despite difficulties.
She would have one spoon for the sake of each of us and one for herself.”
Jayalalithaa's diet included upma, pongal or curd rice and potato curry, prepared by her chef.
Amma, as she is fondly called by her supporters, was brought to the emergency room on September 22 night. When her vitals became stable after four hours of treatment, she asked for some sandwiches and coffee.
"It had been a long journey for her since then," said Dr R Senthil Kumar, senior consultant.
Medical director Dr Sathya Bhama said Jayalalithaa used to converse with duty doctors and give tips on skin care. "She always advised women to give themselves some time, however busy they were.”
The AIADMK leader one day told nurses and doctors in her room to pack up and come to her Poes Garden residence. "Come, let's go home. I will serve you the best tea from Kodainadu," said critical care expert Dr Ramesh Venkataraman.
There were times when the usually cooperative leader behaved in a firm manner.
The daily said that when Richard Beale from the London Bridge Hospital, who was regularly consulted by doctors in Chennai, asked the Tamil Nadu leader to cooperate, telling her that he was the `boss` in the hospital, she weakly gestured to him that 'this state' was her turf.
When AIADMK won all three polls in Thanjavur, Arvakuruchi, and Thiruparankundram on November 22, Dr Bhama said Jayalalithaa “watched the news on Jaya TV and smiled”.
However, on the evening of December 04, she was watching an old Tamil soap opera when an intensivist entered into her room. “Jayalalithaa seemed breathless. By the time the doctor adjusted the ventilator, the monitors around her had flat-lined. She had suffered a cardiac arrest”.
She was pronounced dead on December 05.
Jayalalithaa's body was then taken to her Poes Garden residence and moved to Rajaji Hall for people to pay their last respects.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, her counterparts from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Delhi, Karnataka and Puducherry, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, and others also paid their last respects to Jayalalithaa.
Later in the evening, Jayalalithaa was laid to rest at Marina Beach near her mentor and AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran's (MGR) memorial.