April 19, 2017 4:39:13 am
A YOUNG orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Praveen Siddharth had joined Sadar Hospital, in Daltonganj city of Jharkhand’s Palamu district, two months ago. Over the weekend, he, along with fellow doctors and staff at the government hospital, did for an unidentified 14-year-old boy, brought in with near-zero pulse rate and severe external injuries, what his father on Tuesday called was “miracle”. They donated blood to the teenager, arranged for CT Scan and other facilities not available at the hospital, got him medicines not available there, fed him, and carried out a complicated surgical procedure at their own risk.
“My son was dead. He was brought back to life by doctors and people of Daltonganj,” said Rishi Kapoor (alias Shankar), an auto-rickshaw driver from Jamshedpur, who took his son, Sahil, home late Monday night.
Kapoor, in fact, found Sahil, who had left home on April 10, after Dr Siddharth tagged the PMO handle in a tweet about the boy, thereby activating the local media and the government. On April 13, the railway police brought the unidentified teen to Sadar Hospital with his left leg nearly chopped off, bones of his left elbow crushed and deep abrasions all over. The boy had severe head injuries and virtually zero pulse — apparently the result of a fall off a speeding train near Daltonganj railway station.
Palamu Civil Surgeon Dr Kalanand Mishra said the boy required immediate blood but since the hospital’s blood bank did not have that group, a staffer, Abhishek Komal, donated. That was not enough. So another hospital doctor, Sushil Kumar Pandey, volunteered, followed by others.
Dr Pandey said, “I was now responsible for this one life. It was a human reaction— and as we took active interest all our staff joined in.”
They zoomed on his nearly-severed leg then. “People advised me against any surgery, as the patient’s relatives were not there,” Dr Siddharth said, “but I realised that if the infected parts were not removed, the leg would turn septic. And that could have proven fatal. On April 15, I decided to go ahead with the operation. My seniors and colleagues cooperated.”
Taking a huge risk, he said, they administered anaesthesia and performed the surgery to remove the infected part. “This led to further loss of blood, which was natural. I waited until evening, and when the blood bank could not arrange, it was my turn to donate blood,” Dr Siddharth said.
Recalling that a doctor-friend was seriously injured in the recent attack in Maharashtra, which led to a state-wide strike by doctors, Dr Siddharth said, “My humble request is that people should believe in doctors.”
For one teenager and his father in Jamshedpur, that faith stands restored. “I will never be able to return the debt,” Kapoor said.
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