Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Bharatsinh Solanki, who tested positive for Covid-19 on June 21, was discharged on Thursday after being in hospital for 101 days.
“I used to believe that I had a very good immunity and nothing would happen to me. I would roam around and meet people without any hesitation. But suddenly I had fever, but developed no other Covid symptoms. Initially my blood test reports also didn’t reflect anything, but later doctors found out that the situation has reached an extreme stage,” 66-year-old Solanki said while addressing the media from the hospital in Ahmedabad he was discharged from.
After he tested positive on June 21, he was admitted to a private hospital in Vadodara. Later he was shifted to Care Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS) Hospital in Ahmedabad on June 30. In the last 101 days, besides Covid-19, he also battled pneumonia, renal failure, coma, paralysis and sepsis.
At the Ahmedabad hospital, Solanki was kept on Bipap (non-invasive ventilator) support for seven days followed by 44 days of invasive ventilation. Due to his multiple co-morbidities of hypertension, diabetes and asthma, a multispecialty team from three departments — pulmonology, critical care and infectious disease — got involved in his treatment.
“If I will survive this virus attack used to bother me a lot. I used to spend my days looking at the ceiling and walls of my hospital room with no one to visit you. This is indeed a miracle for me. This pandemic has taken over the entire world and there is no medicine yet to treat it. But if one puts his faith in the doctors, one can come out of this,” Solanki said.
“The day when I came here I weighed 58 kg and today I am 75. There has been improvement… Covid has affected my voice too. It will take some time to get back to normal,” he added.
“However, despite all physical stress, my confidence level has increased. Now that I have defeated this virus and came out successful, I know I can fight any difficulty in future,” the Congress leader said.
Besides anti-viral drug Remdesvir, immunosuppressive drug Tocilizumab, convalescent plasma therapy and anti-coagulant injection to avoid blood clotting and aggressive prone exercise, he was also given Actilyse (Tissue Plasminogen Activator- TPA works by dissolving clots in the blood vessels) as the oxygen requirement increased.
He was also simultaneously put on invasive intubation and ventilation with ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) kept on standby.
Dr Dhaval Naik, senior cardiac surgeon, director, ECMO Department at CIMS, who was part of the team of specialists involved in Solanki’s treatment, said, “ECMO does the job of the lungs and/or heart, allowing the organs to rest and recover when patients are very sick. According to the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), the technique could save up to half of the seriously ill Covid-19 patients for whom ventilation isn’t working.”
His primary care was done by Covid physicians of CIMS Hospital — Dr Bhagyesh Shah, Dr Vipul Thakkar, Dr Amit Patel, Dr Surabhi Madan, and Dr Dhaval Naik. Dr Keyur Parikh, Chairman of CIMS Hospital personally was involved in his day-to-day care.
Speaking about his return in politics, Solanki said, “This question is like Covid. No one knows how much time it will take.”
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