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IN THE WAIT OF COVID19 TEST REPORT HE DIED UNATTENDED
WIDOW NARRATES STORY OF SYSTEM’S APATHY, HER HUSBAND WAS PUSHED TO DEATH SHOWN AS A CORONA SUSPECT
The post is a bit lengthy and it took me about two and half hours to write it. The students and people who are posting condolence messages on facebook, if you really want to pay tribute to Dr. Parvinder Kamboj, then please spare 15 minutes to read my post thoroughly and properly and circulate it so much that it reaches the right authorities and my late husband gets the justice he deserves.
I, Dr. Neeta Danju, the widow of Dr. Parvinder Kamboj is not able to sleep or get peace of mind. So l am taking it to facebook in the middle of the night. My husband developed a mild fever on 16th July 2020 and a slight throat ache on 18th July and when even after four days of medication his throat ache persisted, we opted for corona test at civil hospital Abohar. He had no cough and had normal sense of taste and smell. Both of us gave our sample on 20th July 2020 (which l now realise was the biggest mistake of my life). We were told that the report usually comes within one day. So we waited till 21st but then we were told that the report hasn’t arrived yet and the samples were dispatched on 21st, instead of 20th July and that we will get the report on 22nd July. So we had to wait for another day. My husband was getting weaker and was not able to consume anything properly. I kept on giving him liquid or semi fluid diet which he could hardly swallow. By the afternoon of 22nd July I started noticing that his condition was worsening. He could not talk properly because of discomfort in throat and was walking very slowly. I enquired about the report but it was still not available. Then after realising that I will not get any medical assistance from private hospital, I took him to civil hospital for putting him on drip. There I was stopped at the entrance of emergency ward itself. After some enquiry, my husband’s temperature was checked, which was normal. His oxygen saturation level was 83%. HIS BLOOD PRESSURE WAS NOT CHECKED and without even letting me in I was told that he would be referred to medical college Faridkot, as I had no proof that he was corona negative. I told the doctor that my husband had no symptoms of corona. His temperature was normal, he had no cough and his sense of taste and smell was normal. But they did not listen as l had no report: WHOSE FAULT? I requested them to at least give him some primary treatment. So they let me in and put my husband on drip and gave him some oxygen support. HIS BP WAS STILL NOT CHECKED.
Meanwhile I requested them to enquire about the report but after a while I was told that the report wasn’t available yet. Then the doctor said that he was referring my husband to medical college Faridkot. We insisted that we will take him to some private hospital but the doctor said that no private hospital will entertain you without corona report and you will end up only disappointed. He said that he has talked to Dr. Ankit at medical college Faridkot and that he will attend us immediately. He insisted that medical college Faridkot is the best option and we will get the best treatment there. I asked him that whether he was sending my husband to emergency ward at Faridkot? To which he replied Yes. So on his compulsion, and seeing no way out I had to board my husband into ambulance. I was there in the ambulance with my husband and my relatives were following behind in their vehicles. In the way, I kept talking to my husband and he responded by saying hmm and nodding his head. When I reached there Dr Ankit asked me to bring the slip from counter meanwhile he completed some written formalities. When I brought the slip, Dr Ankit asked me about my husband’s
symptoms. I told him the symptoms and added that he was not showing any symptoms of corona. To which he said, कि mai kuch nahi kar sakta. Aapke husband ki civil hospital Abohar se aayi referral slip पर लिखा है कि he is ‘corona suspect’.
Corona Report लाओ. I told him that ki report toh faridkot mei hi taiyyar honi thi na? Please mangwa do. To which he said that he doesn’t know anything. Report लाओ, prove karo ki yeh negative है और ले जाओ. I had no other option so I requested him to give emergency treatment to my husband urgently, to which he said that he was getting the file ready and that I should go upstairs and get my husband atmitted in the meanwhile. The ambulance driver from Civil hospital abohar and another attendant from medical college Faridkot pulled the stretcher and I followed them thinking that we were being led to the emergency ward. I assured my husband that now everything will be OK. After pulling up to a certain point, the ambulance driver fled the scene. The attendant from faridkot hospital said ki madam आपका आदमी तो भाग गया अब आप ही मदद करो. So I pushed the stretcher, praying to God all the way that my husband gets all right soon. To my utter surprise, I was led to corona isolation ward. It was not the emergency ward! I started screaming that my husband is not corona positive and I wanted to take him to emergency ward. The attendant said वो सब मुझे नहीं पता madam, मैंने ppe kit pehni hai mujhe garmi lag rahi hai. अपने patient ko jaldi bed pe shift karo nahi toh mai चला. I requested him to stop. Mean while my brother-in-law arrived and we insisted on letting us go or shift us to emergency ward. The nurse came and we explained her everything. She too asked for corona report, which we did not have. She said that ‘this is normal isolation ward. There is no corona patient in the ward. The patients are kept here and given treatment till the report comes and my husband too will be given the necessary preliminary treatment there’ . We had no option but to agree as we did not want to waste any time further. So we shifted him on bed. I told my husband that now his treatment will start and he will be OK, to which he responded. I asked the nurse to start the preliminary examination and treatment. She said ki पहले नीचे से file le kar aao fir इलाज शुरू होगा. We ran for file. I had reached the hospital around 5:30 pm and after pleading and requesting, I was told that the file was getting ready. It was about 7:00 pm and losing patience, we insisted for doctors to visit. Then two young doctors came and the lady Dr. (Dr Anjali?) said की file लाओ mai treatment शुरू करती hu.I requested her to hurry up, to which she rudely replied ki aapke jaise patients तो रोज aake हम pe pressure dalte hain. Maine corona से थोड़ी marna hai. Mai pehle ppe kit pahnungi aur 15 minutes में aaungi. Meanwhile my husband was alone in the room and no one was allowed to go in . My heart was sinking, thinking about the physical and mental trauma he must be going through. Then the lady doctor came back after 30 to 40 minutes. She had no file with her. She went in, came back and asked aapka patient kon sa wala hai. I pointed towards the room
Then she said ki usko kuch samajh nahi aata kya. जो mai puch rahi hu woh properly जवाब नहीं दे रहा. इसने कोई jehar wehar khaya hai kya. I cried and said NO. Then she said ki eik patient jehar wala bhi hai. WHY WAS SHE NOT AWARE ABOUT MY HUSBAND’S CASE? WHERE WAS THE SO CALLED FILE WHICH TOOK TWO HOURS TO BE PREPARED? Then she gave some instructions to nurse and went away. I kept pleading to start the treatment. Meanwhile I also tried to get the corona report and it was my ill fate that the report was still not available. Then we were asked to bring water, glucose and thermometer. We brought everything. The nurse took time to get ready with her ppe kit and went in. There was no haste in her walk. Only my heart was hasting, I think. Then I was told that my husband’s BP was low. He was being given drip. I kept praying for my husband’s recovery and the corona report. I was told that the drip will be over by 9:30 pm. No other checking was being done, as I hoped about emergency treatment. We were not allowed to go in. And we’re made to sit in waiting lobby. Then after waiting for some time we were told that the drip has been given and a team of doctors has gone inside. They will stabilise my husband and only then they will leave. So I waited in the lobby hoping and praying. Then my brother in law went inside my husband’s room after much request and pleadings. There he saw that there was no proper light in the room, my husband was lying alone and breathing heavily. So my brother in law insisted on shifting room and proper check up. After much request and arguments my husband was put on ventilator and my brother in law was sent back. Every time he went to the doctors, they seemed confused between patients. आपके वाला patient kon sa hai? Woh मोटे वाला या दूसरे वाला? ई want to ask ki Arrey file कहाँ थी तब? Doctors को patient के बीच में confusion kyun thi? There was some doctor Param who was busy in playing game on his mobile. Is this the emergency treatment, I was assured of? I knew my husband was on ventilator. But the door to corridor was closed. So I kept lying and praying in the lobby. I had almost lost my consciousness till morning. Meanwhile, the person on duty at waiting lobby’s gate kept on listening to Bollywood songs at full volume on his mobile phone. The voice was entering my brain, pinching and tearing my head into pieces. Cant explain the mental trauma I was going through. I was sent back home by my relatives saying that the team of doctors is taking my husband to fortis hospital and he will be treated there properly, which I came to know was a lie, only after reaching home. My husband had died lying alone, unattended in the isolation ward. The doctors were not even sure about the time of his demise. So on the morning of 23rd July, my husband was just a news on social media. My world had shattered. All my life I have kept encouraging and helping students to become doctors. I had even acclaimed the corona warriors on my Facebook page a few months back. But there at faridkot, I had seen a new face of ‘corona warriors’. I have lost everything: my faith, my hope, my spirit and may be my life too, soon. And on 24th July evening, FIVE DAYS AFTER COLLECTION OF Sample, I received the report that my husband was CORONA NEGATIVE. I should now frame the report along with his photograph. Right?
WIDOW POSE QUESTIONS TO THE SYSTEM
• Is opting for corona test such a big crime that the person subjected to it is labelled as ‘corona suspect’ and every doctor then fears even from touching him?
• Don’t these government or private doctors have ppe kit to put on and then check the patient?
• Why did the report take so much time to be made available? Who is responsible?
• On what basis did the doctor from civil hospital Abohar wrote’ corona suspect’ on my husbands referral slip.
• Why is there no rapid testing system available in hospitals, both private and government to attend to emergency cases?
• Do the private hospitals treat emergency cases only after getting corona report?
• Why the doctors at government medical college hospital dont have any system to check the suspected patients immediately?
• Why was the preparation of case file so necessary, if it was not to be used?
• Why was my husband not attended immediately on emergency basis?
• Did any team of senior doctors attend my husband?
• Why was there no attendant in my husband’s room? He was an emergency case.
• Why were the doctors confused about the exact time of my husband’s demise?
• Why are people not made aware of where to go in case of emergency • Which hospital will attend such patient without corona report.
• And lastly, why is a person’s life not so important in our country?
I know that the doctors are burdened, affected, quarantined and the staff is decreasing. And if the system is facing girth of doctors, why were we referred to that hospital? And even those who were there were not performing their duties sincerely. A case of utter negligence. If any of my students is a medical professional and is reading this, please please never do so with anyone. That would be a slap and sheer disrespect of my teachings. If you cant develop the feeling of empathy and sacrifice then don’t join the medical profession. Think, what would happen if the soldiers on border too start behaving like this and run away from taking responsibilities.
No words of assurance can now heal my injured heart and shattered soul and the realisation of the discrepancies in the system is adding to the agony. Finally ending my plea with a prayer and demand that the system be improved so that no one has to face the trauma l had to.