Pune/Nagpur: Emminent cartoonist RK Laxman passed away on Monday in Pune. He was 94 years old. The nonagenarian was admitted in Pune-based Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital since over a week now, after he developed a urine infection following multi-organ failure. He was on a mechanical ventilator in the super-specialty intensive care unit at the hospital since January 17.
“Laxman passed away at 6.50 PM,” Dr Sameer Jog of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, said. Laxman had cardiac arrest and could not be resuscitated despite best efforts, said doctors.
He was unconscious since admission. On admission, he was diagnosed to have a complicated Urinary Tract Infection which led to infection or Sepsis and an eventual Multiorgan Failure, which adversely affected his kidneys, lungs, liver, heart and brain.
In Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital’s ICU, he was kept on mechanical ventilator as he was not being able to breathe normally. He was being administered medications to improve his blood pressure as his organs remained critically damaged. Also, he was on dialysis or Renal Replacement Therapy in ICU. He was admitted under Dr Sameer Jog, Consultant Intensivist and Dr Aditya Bhabe, Consultant Nephrologist.
“He was under close observation of Team of Intensivists in Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital’s ICU for the last 9 days. There were ups and downs in his condition in last 9 days with transient improvement in between. But unfortunately his condition started deteriorating since 25th January evening. All the possible efforts were made to improve his multiorgan dysfunction but he did not respond to the ongoing therapies,” said Dr Sameer Jog, consultant intensivist at the hospital.
Laxman was one of the seven siblings that included his elder brother eminent novelist RK Narayan. When he took up his first full time job as a political cartoonist at Mumbai’s Free Press Journal, Laxman incidentally found himself in the company of Bal Thackeray who too worked in the same paper as a cartoonist for a brief period.
In 2010, Laxman had suffered from strokes that had affected the right side of his body and slurred his speech. However, he continued to sketch his iconic signature cartoon of ‘the common man,’ over the past fifty years and even after suffering from stroke that prevented him from talking much. He had ceased to sketch political cartoons after his health started failing.