Updated: May 1, 2021 11:51:04 pm
FROM A family that stumbled on news of the oxygen shortage on Twitter to another that was rushing with a cylinder to the hospital, the relatives of those who died at Batra Hospital on Saturday spent their last moments in panic as their loved ones gasped for breath.
“I spoke to her in the morning around 8 am. She wanted to come back home,” said Harbhajan Singh about his wife Kawaljeet Kaur (64) who was one of the 12 patients who died in the hospital following the shortage in supply.
“She was admitted to the hospital on Thursday. She had a lung infection and tested positive for Covid,” he said as staff shifted his wife’s body from the ICU to an ambulance.
“Our daughter got married 20 days ago and everyone was happy. Now, I have lost my wife. I am all alone. She was shifted to the ICU in the morning. We were bringing oxygen cylinders but she died before anyone could help her,” said Harbhajan, sitting outside the hospital while his children and other relatives completed the paperwork.
Kawaljeet’s son-in-law, Ravinder, said: “We are not against the doctors or the government. But who do we blame for this death? Mummyji was doing good, we thought she’ll be back soon. Despite all efforts, we lost her.”
According to senior doctors, the patients who died were aged between 57 and 85.
Sanjay Seth, 57, was a bank supervisor in Delhi’s Moti Bagh and had been admitted to the hospital for 18 days. His wife Asha and brother-in-law Sandeep said they received the news about oxygen shortage through Twitter.
“My children check Twitter every day. Today morning, they found the SOS message sent by senior doctors at the hospital. We were worried since Sanjay was critical and called doctors. None of them took our calls but we knew something was wrong. We called our friends and relatives and arranged two cylinders,” said Sandeep.
By the time Sandeep and Asha reached the hospital, Sanjay was declared dead. “The doctors could have informed me about his condition but they didn’t,” said Asha, breaking down. The couple have two children.
Among the dead is Dr R K Himthaini (62), the HOD of Gastroenterology at Batra Hospital. “We lost one of our own. Dr Himthani was with us for more than 31 years. He was an exceptional doctor who worked with us during the pandemic. He was admitted to the hospital 15-21 days ago following Covid symptoms. Three days ago, he was shifted to ICU. We tried everything… CPR, injections… but lost many lives,” said Dr S C L Gupta, medical director.
The others who could not be revived included Prakash Dutt Dwivedi, 62, who was admitted in the Covid non-ICU ward. As his body was being taken by the ambulance workers, his wife cried: “You never left me alone. How can you leave? What am I going to do now?”
Dwivedi’s nephew, Amit, said he was admitted four days ago. “He was recovering from the infection and spoke to his family in the morning,” he said. Another family member said, “We were ready to bring an oxygen cylinder after his saturation level dropped below 70, but he did not make it.”
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