Sligo nurse remembers tragic classmate Savita
IT WAS a classmates reunion which never took place.
Sligo-based nurse Ashwini Hubli, pictured right, had intended to surprise her old friend Savita Halappanavar during the Diwali (Festival of Light) in Galway this month.
The pair hadn't seen each other since they attended primary and secondary school together at Vanita Vibyalaya, Belgaum, in the Karnataka region of southwest India.
A devastating email changed everything for the nurse who has worked at St. John's Hospital for the past eight years.
Ashwini said: "I just couldn't believe she was dead.
"I was so looking forward to meeting her again."
Seventeen weeks pregnant, Savita, pictured left, had gone to hospital in Galway with back pain on October 21st.
She was found to be miscarrying and died of septicemia a week later. Her husband, Praveen, said his wife had asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated, but this was refused because the foetal heartbeat was still present.
Praveen has called for a full public inquiry and is refusing to co-operate with a HSE led probe.
Ashwini said she really felt for Savita's husband who was "deeply hurt."
"We can't imagine just what he is going through."
Ashwini became aware her old friend was a dentist in Galway a number of years ago.
She spoke to her by telephone a number of times since 2009, but had planned her surprise visit this year.
Ashwini said: "We actually had planned to meet up before this, but Savita was busy with her studies.
"It never happened and at first when I saw the news, I thought it was a mistake."
Ashwini says she is "deeply saddened" by the death of her old school friend. She described her as being "full of life." Ashwini said: "Savita was always jovial, but also very ambitious.
"She knew what she wanted to do and what to achieve. This is so sad."