Pune-based trekker Padmesh Patil, who was seriously injured during a trek in Leh on August 15, was admitted in Pune’s Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital late Wednesday night. Patil was first hospitalised in Leh and then at PGI Hospital in Chandigarh.
Though Patil has been off the ventilator, he is still unconscious. “We shifted him from Chandigarh to Pune by train ambulance. He is now in the general ward ICU. The MRI and CT scan tests done so far have been clear and stable. The doctors say that it might take at least six months or more for him to recover. As of now, we have been told that at least Rs 3 lakh might be required for treatment,” said Amit Kulkarni, Patil’s childhood friend, who was earlier in Chandigarh to help the family.
The cost of the train ambulance — Rs 1.4 lakh — has been borne by city-based corporator Sachin Dodke, who was also in Chandigarh earlier to help Patil’s family.
“I have already spoken to the hospital authorities, while half of the future medical expenses will be taken care of under the PMC scheme for the needy, the other half will be sponsored by an NGO. Money can come and go but a person’s life is far more precious. His family’s financial condition is too weak to take care of such high expenses. One good development is that he (Patil) is not critical now,” said Dodke.
Dodke revealed that they wanted to shift him in an air ambulance, but decided against it on the advice of the doctors in Chandigarh.
On August 14 at 9.30 in the night, Patil left the base camp of Mount Stok Kangri in Leh with his friend Prashant Nagpure, to reach the peak and hoist the national flag to mark the 70th Independence Day.
However, Nagpure returned to the base camp after two hours saying he was feeling sick. Patil continued his trek to Stok Kangri (6,153 metres), the highest mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalayas in Ladakh.
Around 6 am, he successfully reached the peak and as planned, hoisted the Tricolour. However, on his way back, when he was at a height of 6,000 metres (19,685 feet) , he fell down 300 feet and was seriously injured. Nagpure and Patil had left for the trek through Delhi-based company Trek The Himalayas on August 9 and were supposed to return on August 18.
After three days of hospitalisation in Leh, Patil was air lifted on August 18 to Chandigarh for further treatment.
Patil comes from a middle-class family and financially supports his parents, a younger brother and his wife and four-year-old daughter.
While his brother is a freelance photographer, his father is a car painter. Patil himself runs a computer hardware business in Warje. “With the news of his accident being shared on social media, a lot of people have come forward to pitch in financially,” said Kulkarni.