Even as the critical period to ‘wait and watch’ had passed, raising hopes of her survival, 35-year-old Asmita Katkar died on Saturday evening at Dr RN Cooper Hospital, four days after sustaining multiple trauma injuries in the road overbridge collapse in Andheri.
According to doctors, her medical parameters suddenly dropped on Saturday evening leading to her death around 6.30 pm. “When I saw her in the afternoon, her blood pressure was low. We were all praying that she survives. All doctors were constantly monitoring her,” said head of the ENT department, Dr Shashikant Mhashal, who conducted tracheostomy and face surgery on her along with a team of surgeons.
Hospital Superintendent Dr R Sukhadeva said that following brain surgery, her condition remained critical. “She had remained unconscious except for a little lower limb movement. There was also bleeding in the brain,” he said, adding that a post mortem would give clarity on the cause of death.
Katkar, a domestic help and resident of Juhu, was walking to work, towards Andheri West, after dropping son Siddhesh at a civic school in Andheri East. She was one of the five injured when the 47-year-old road overbridge partially collapsed at 7.30 am on July 3.
Two hours later she was admitted to Dr RN Cooper Hospital where she underwent multiple surgeries for 14 hours under at least 15 doctors.
“She had an intracranial bleed. After decompression surgery, next 72 hours were critical,” said Dr Shraddha Maheshwari, assistant professor of neurosurgery who operated on Katkar.
Katkar had also suffered from a crushed jaw, multiple abrasions on her body, and had her left hand dangling by the elbow that doctors had to immediately reattach.
“There was also a risk that the hand would start blackening which would mean the reattachment procedure had failed. But when I saw her today in morning, there were pulsations in her operated hand. Had she survived, her hand should have functioned normally,” said Dr Nitin Ghag, head of the plastic surgery department.
Katkar is survived by her husband Luv, a housekeeping worker, and six-year-old son Siddhesh. “Siddhesh kept asking about her. Initially, we did not tell him anything but finally had to bring him to the hospital to see her once,” said relative Jayesh Dalvi. Most of the family members were stationed outside the surgical intensive care unit since July 3 in hope of seeing her regain consciousness.
According to Katkar’s mother-in-law Sarojini Katkar, Siddhesh would only go to school with his mother and ask for her in her absence. “We don’t know how the boy will cope with all this,” she said. Husband Luv earns Rs 7,000 per month while Katkar managed to earn Rs 2,000 by washing utensils.
The railway has announced ex gratia payment of Rs.5 lakh to the Katkar family. ” All medical expenses of the victim will be borne by railways and help will be extended for getting compensation through railway claims tribunal,” a Western Railway official said.
Her funeral is scheduled for Sunday.