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Sunday, February 28, 2021

‘My husband died alone, unattended in isolation ward, he was corona negative’

We opted for corona test at Civil Hospital, Abohar on July 20 (which I now realise was the biggest mistake of my life).

Faridkot |
July 28, 2020 11:25:32 am
‘My husband died alone, unattended in isolation ward, he was corona negative’ The doctor said no private hospital will entertain you without corona report.

Written by Dr Neeta Pandhu

I, Dr Neeta Pandhu, the widow of Dr Parvinder Kamboj am not able to sleep or get peace of mind. My husband developed a mild fever on July 16 and had throat ache on July 18. He had no cough and had normal sense of taste and smell.

We opted for corona test at Civil Hospital, Abohar on July 20 (which I now realise was the biggest mistake of my life).

We were told that the report comes within one day. Next day, we were told that the samples were dispatched on 21st, instead of 20th and that we will get the report on July 22. My husband was getting weaker and was not able to consume anything properly.

I kept giving him liquid or semi liquid diet. By afternoon of July 22, his condition was worsening. He could not talk properly.

I enquired, but the report was still not available. I took him to Civil Hospital where I was stopped at the entrance of emergency ward.

After some enquiry, my husband’s temperature was checked, which was normal. His oxygen saturation level was 83%. His blood pressure was not checked and I was told that he would be referred to (Government) Medical College Faridkot, as I had no proof that he was corona negative.

I requested them to at least give him some primary treatment. So they put my husband on drip and gave him oxygen support. His BP was still not checked.

Later the doctor there said he was referring my husband to Faridkot Medical College. The doctor said no private hospital will entertain you without corona report. He said that he has talked to Dr Ankit at GMC and that he will attend to us immediately. We took my husband to Faridkot in an ambulance.

I informed Dr Ankit about my husband’s symptoms and added that he had no symptoms of corona. To which he said, “I cannot do anything, your husband’s referral slip from civil hospital has mentioned him as corona suspect”.

He asked for the corona report. I told him that that report was to be prepared in Faridkot and he can ask the authorities to send it across, but told me to bring the report and prove that my husband didn’t have corona.

I requested him to give emergency treatment to my husband urgently, to which he said I should get my husband admitted.

The ambulance driver from Civil Hospital with the help of an attendant from GMC pulled out the stretcher carrying my husband from the vehicle and fled the scene.

I started pushing the stretcher but realised that attendant was taking us to corona isolation ward.

When I insisted that he should be taken to emergency ward. A nurse told us that it was a normal isolation ward where patients are kept till the report comes in.

I asked the nurse to start the preliminary treatment, but she asked for the file. We had reached hospital at 5.30pm and it was 7pm. I was told that the file being readied.

I requested a woman doctor to hurry up, to which she said that patients’ kin always put pressure on doctors. She said she will put on a PPE kit come back in 15 minutes.

The doctor returned after 30-40 minutes. She had no file with her. She gave some instructions to the nurse and went away.

I kept pleading to start the treatment. We were asked to bring water, glucose and thermometer, which we did.

I was told that husband has been put on drip. After some time we were told that a team of doctors will stabilise my husband.

My brother-in-law went inside my husband’s room and found him lying alone and breathing heavily. After much request and arguments, my husband was put on ventilator. I was sent home.

I later came to know that my husband died alone, unattended in the isolation ward. The doctors were not even sure about the time of his demise. My world had shattered.

All my life I kept encouraging and helping students to become doctors. I had hailed the corona warriors. But at Faridkot, I saw a new face of corona warriors. I lost everything: my faith, my hope, my spirit and may be my life too.

On July 24 evening, five days after collection of sample, I received the report that my husband was CORONA NEGATIVE. I should now frame the report along with his photograph. Right?

(First person account by Dr Neeta Pandhu whose husband, Dr Parvinder Kamboj, died at GMC Fardikot during treatment)

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