Nagpur: On 31st August night, we brought kaka home from GMC, completely recovered from Covid 19! On July 1st, he had turned 95 and had announced ” I am going to complete my century in 5 years!”
On Ganesh Chaturthi on 23rd August we did puja with mixed feelings. Aai was already in the hospital since 4 days but we were thankful my just turned 95 father was safe and at home. We persuaded him to have a bath early that day for the Puja and he wore brand new clothes that my daughter had just brought for him for his 95th birthday on July 1st.
We had ordered ‘ukdiche modak’ which my mother loves calling them the ” genuine prasad for Ganpati”. My father relished 2 with ghee and thanked us all for an excellent lunch. ( Even simple meals seemed miracles to us since ALL OUR HELPERS had disappeared the day Aai was diagnosed positive for Covid and shifted to a pvt hospital on August 19th.)
Two hours after lunch, Kaka said he was feeling feverish and a check showed he had 100 degrees fever. We had learnt from Aai’s example and called Dr. Saurabh Shah immediately. A good friend, he is an Orthopedic surgeon with GMC and was instrumental in getting Aai shifted to GMC Covid ward from a private hospital which had refused to treat her further after charging us Rs 25,000 just for one night!
” He is 95? Admit him immediately! We will begin his tests at once” he advised. We took him to GMC after a lot of persuasion. ” If you must, take me to a private hospital, I am scared of the crowds at the Govt hospital!
Or treat me at home; I won’t come out of my room…..let me stay among my kids and grand kids please!” He literally begged me.
But the sad and failed efforts with getting a bed in pvt hospitals for my mother had showed us that we were lucky we were getting a bed in at least GMC. We persuaded him to get admitted promising him ” in a week you will be home!”
I should say Thanks to Ganpati Bappa that we could do just that – bring him home in exactly a week.
But OUR SINCERE GRATITUDE GOES TO GMC and its team for their success in treating Kaka – as everyone calls my father.
Despite shortage of staff, funds and often failing equipment they did tests to assess his lung damage and his other parameters.
Though his SO2 levels were good ( 97) they still put him on Oxygen considering his age.
For the lung infection they began antibiotics and other drugs.
He was a co operative patient ( though he was reluctant to eat their food!) and was always aware and enquiring about other patients, my mother included.
Though he had tested positive for both Corona virus infection and lung damage his recovery was rapid and good.
In fact on the 4the day itself, they began talking about ” sending him home soon”. If he lingered, it was for concern for my mother who could be difficult to treat sometime. She would remove her Oxygen mask repeatedly and order nurses around mistaking them for our domestic helpers. She could get quite delusional…
We were keen to get both home together but keeping kaka in ICU when beds were needed seemed selfish and hospital was also finally ready to discharge him. So 31st night we brought him home in our car, not an ambulance. My son Nikhil, who had flown in from Bangalore , and my daughter Neha, who had driven in from Mumbai with her family gladly carried out the task.
Though it took them hours of waiting for paperwork and then an hour just to find a wheelchair to take him to the car…( I really wish both the Central and State governments help out such public hospitals with funds and equipment on a priority basis! Statues and Bullet trains etc can wait…)
HOW DID THE MIRACLE HAPPEN?
My parents have both led an active life, eaten healthy food, done Yoga, gone on walks ( till 15 years ago) and slept regular hours.
But most importantly, they have given back to society in many ways. Giving scholarships to needy children, donating to Educational institutes, to the CM’s relief fund…you name it …..Their social work for our community and Kaka’s work as Founding Chairman of Uppalwadi Co operative industrial estate are legendary.
But most of all, my Dad never dwells on the past. He came from a very humble background, went on to conquer the Corporate world also being named Directors on banks like IDBI and Bank of Maharashtra, but he never boasts about his past. Always full of plans for new projects…even new books he plans to write. ( He has many under his belt).
I bet his next one will be called ” how we beat Corona!” ( Yes, my 86 year old mother is also coming home soon).
… Daughter Sunita Mudaliar Executive Editor ( Nagpur Today )
( Coming next – an exclusive interview of Dr Avinash Gawande, Superintendent Doctor of GMC. On ” Why there is still no alternative to GMC)