Tragedy – A true story

Even though would prefer to share lighter moments of life, some times – true brutal reality shakes me up. Here is a true encounter with reality that happened 3 days ago.

Vadiraj was a cheerfull bubbly kid, the youngest son in the family of father, mother, elder brother, and a doting grandmother. He used to come and play with my junior quite regularly and had been diagonised with child hood asthma.

Only his father earnes a  salary to support to the entire family as a bank cashier and some amount of ignorance as in any normal house hold regarding  lifestyle  diseases like asthma,BP or diabetes  was true to this household too.

Suddenly one day last july his asthma increased and was admitted to hospital. We were shell shocked except me who was allways telling their parents to give him quick relief medicine ( inhalers from the english medicine stable) but the parents constantly took him to an ayurvedic pundit. He stayed in the hospital ventilator for near 1 month after which he was discharged as father had alrady run loans worth 1.8 lakhs in treatment and he came back in an Ambulance with an oxygen cylinder!

We all breathed a sigh of relief as he had escaped death, as asthma kills a person in less than 2 minutes or precisely lack of medical facility can kill in 90 seconds for a boy of 10 years.

We visited him as he was our opposite house neighbour and we do not differentiate much between him or my own junior and advised them to take him to the specialist in manipal hospital.  The parents took him after much cajoling ( One visit consultation charges are 500 Rs) and the consultant reviewed his case and said that he is suffering from not just asthma but COPD ( Compulsive obstructive pulmonary disease) which would require at least 2 operations to get his lungs back in shape as he was quite young.

The parents were aghast at the costs invovled and unilaterally decided to get back to their ayurvedic medicines. It was a torture for me to personally see the kid wheezing and suffering to take a single breath.

Suddenly day before yesterday he again had a bad asthma attack and was admitted. Doctors put him on ventilator ( artificial breathing apparatus). My spouse called me yesterday noon and said “Vadhi – expired!”.

It was a shock as the doctors described that due to excessive pressure on the lungs, the windpipe ruptured and he breathed his last.

I just could not see the inconsolable parents

In India we have thousands of these kinds of deaths where technology, treatement everything is available only out of reach of 80% of the people. If only these were in the available band to those parents, a life could have been saved

Alas, in democracy the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer,

After some time the poor all die only the rich live

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6 Responses to Tragedy – A true story

  1. Vijay says:

    What a tragedy !!! So young

    I thought people like Manipal etc had access to funds to help the economically needy…

  2. neela says:

    How sad !!

    After sometime the …only the rich will live..
    Such a sad possibility.
    Maybe this is what they meant when the said Gareeb Hatao .

  3. Veena says:

    Mohan, Though you had named the post as tragedy I was just hoping for some miracle till I read that line.. My GOD!

    your junior must be in such a shock..

    Well.. awareness about medical insurance is so necessary ..

    BTW, heard a lot about yashaswini and it works wonders anthe… isn’t that an option for such people.. Not too sure if that is only for villagers/very poor people (like below poverty line) ?!!??

  4. praneshachar says:

    The incident shows how medical support is inaccessible to middle class it is highly prohibitive cost. one solution for this atleast take a mediclaim policy by paying small/reasonable sum on annual basis.
    I too heard yeshaswini is running well. Narayana Hrudayalaya has tied up with govt for providing medical support for poor. green card holders. but I suppose being a bank cashier he will not be eligible for that. what a tragedy.
    Scheme at Narayana Hrudalaya works well, i know a case personally one of staff’s sister who lives in a village and very poor. during their regular health camp in the village they identified her for a probable heart problem and was advised to visit hospital for further investigation. believe me the way the treatment was given and courtesy extended was simply marvellous and not even a single pie was collected. all were met by the trust under the govt scheme.
    Satya Sai Hospital in White field also renders all medical services with committed doctors at no cost. here u have wait for ur turn only emergencies are attended out of turn otherwise u have to wait.
    poor little child vadiraj may his soul rest in peace. and mohan I felt sorry u have given them sufficient clues and guidance but yes financial constraints would have put them in dielams and going to ayurveda pundit.
    take care of junior our heart felt condolences to bereaved family. it takes long time for them to come out of this shock.

  5. Vijay,
    Most people are not even aware!!! Ignorance was that the disease would not kill a person , played a very big part in this case.

    Neela,
    It was a statement that came out of my heart, with lots of pain and you can see it all around.

    Veena,
    It is one incident we cant forget in our life time – Yes yeshaswini works effectively. We even have an hospital at a walking distance from our home but it did not admit vadi because there was no ventilator there. These severe cases require ventilator treatment and only 3 are available in Vani vilas hospital – a joke of sorts for lakhs of population from Govt.

    Private hospitals like manipal charge 10,000 per day and these guys have to stay hooked for months till they recover!

    Yeshaswini or not – terminally ill people get killed due to lack of funds.

    Praneshachar,
    True – there are some charitable associations which are doing yomen service. Understanding of the risk associated with a disease is extremly important. The minute my son gets a cold, we double his ashtma medicne dosage to avoid loosing life – but alas, majority of people lack this knowledge and ignorance added with lack of fund kill. A trumatic and painfull experience.

    How i wish god only gave happiness to every body and never a drop of sorrowness for anybody.

  6. praneshachar says:

    mohan yes it very true people have not understood the seriousness of aasthama and it can be fatal as it happened here. awareness is the key and it has to be done.
    manipal no chance to get free etc., as I understand. I heard main reason why Devi Shetty left Manipal heart foundation and started his narayana hrudayalaya.
    let more awareness grow and in this case even after your prompt advise this happened that is one thing which will definetly haunt u and family.
    ur last line can only be a wish. life is not bed of roses and it is for u to make it sweet and it is mix of so many thngs enjoy and I do agree it will take a long time for the family and u and family to come out of this great tragedy. take care of junior and slowly u must take him out from this friend.

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