Durban -

A well-known Chatsworth doctor was found dead in his surgery soon after midnight on Sunday.

Police are investigating the death of Dr Krishna Nair, 55, who lived in Westville, who was found with a wound to his abdomen.

He was found in his Chatsworth surgery by his family, accompanied by police, after he didn’t come home.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said despite the unusual death, no foul play was suspected and there was no sign of forced entry.

However, an inquest docket had been opened.

Nair’s wife, Gonasagrie, also a doctor, grew concerned when he did not come home nor return unanswered calls on Sunday night.

The couple’s son, Yashodhan, 20, a medical student at UCT, said the family were dealing with the loss “but it is difficult”.

“He works every day, seven days a week. He usually closes at about 4pm on Sundays, so my mother was expecting him to be home by 8pm. She phoned but there was no answer,” said Yashodhan.

Gonasagrie contacted their security company, relatives and police who found her husband’s body at about 1.30am, he said.

“I was woken up by a cousin who lives in Cape Town who said I should get a flight back home as early as possible… I was only told of his passing when I touched down,” Yashodhan said.

Nair was well-known at the Chatsworth Regional Hospice Association, where he worked with people suffering from terminal illnesses.

The hospice’s president, Pramda Ramasar, said that he had worked as a volunteer for two hours every day

“He was here on Sunday morning, as usual, and now this? This is a big loss. It won’t be easy to fill his position… The fact that he was so dedicated to treating patients who were nearing the end of their lives, makes it even harder,” she said.

Yashodhan said that his father had tried to minimise the suffering of patients he encountered. “Where he found the most suffering was in the people who were terminally ill and often, those people were either neglected by their families or weren’t given appropriate care to make sure they had a reasonable transition to death,” he said.

There was was a sombre atmosphere outside the locked practice on Monday, as staff huddled under their umbrellas in the rain.

Patients and friends came to confirm the news and pay their respects to a man who many described as “like a father”.

The Mercury