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India’s Covid Hereos

India’s Covid Hereos
May 06
13:39 2021
Capt Krishan Sharma

Capt Krishan Sharma

MUSKAN-HIMANSHI-SHIKHA CHOUDHARY & DR RAJESH

Capt Krishan Sharma, MD, and Editor, India Post, relives his near-death experience due to heavy Covid infection load. Admitted to Sant Parmanand Hospital, Delhi; he survived for the seventh time in his life and was the only air-crew survivor in the 1970 Jamair Dakota crash in Delhi.

We were advised by our family doctor to register to have our first jab. But Kiran my wife is very scared of injections and hospitals. She kept calling and discussing with her friends daily on this issue. Finally, she agreed to go for the jab. If that was not enough, there was also to choose between the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines available. Our doctor arranged for the Covaxin jabs on 17 March morning. Except for minor pain we both were fine.

On April 5 I developed mild fatigue and fever, so I took paracetamol tablets and managed the fever. It reappeared again the next day and I could not swallow my food properly, the throat felt very dry. It was a very funny feeling when the food refused to go down the throat. I took some lemon juice and somehow managed to eat. For next five days I had mild fever and was still able to manage my lethargy and listlessness.

April 10 I started to have high fever of 101. I was advised by my physician to take paracetamol every 4-hours and also advised to get tested. I drove to a drive-thru testing facility and gave my samples. By the evening I was called and told I was Covid positive.

Medical Staff at the Hospital wearing PPE Kits

Medical Staff at the Hospital wearing PPE Kits

I was already under home isolation anyway.  My fever was just not ready to respond and went as high as 104 one day. My senior son-in-law managed to get me on the waiting list at Max Saket Hospital on Saturday. And also arranged for a night nurse and portable Oxygen bottle to look after me at home. My situation was getting out of control and the family extremely worried with news of people dying like flies in Delhi.

My daughters and their husbands panicked and managed an ambulance to get me admitted to hospital night of April 18. Luckily, there was only one bed available and the hospital was about 20 Kms from the house.

I was wrapped on the stretcher and taken down the steps. I was awake and saw my wife and maid crying over me while going. Suddenly a thought came to my mind that I may be dead and they are taking me for cremation.” Is this how dead people feel after dying?” I was not scared but thought it was really funny that I will be witnessing my own cremation.

My nurse was also with me in the Ambulance. The rough ride alone was killing enough I could have been dead even without Covid. The ambulance was driving fast and negotiating potholes, with all the bumping my back was sore. So I asked her, if we have reached the

Medical Staff at the Hospital wearing PPE Kits

Medical Staff at the Hospital wearing PPE Kits

cremation ground at Lodhi Road. She was shocked and said, Sir we are not going to cremation ground but will reach the Hospital in next 15 minutes. Oh! I had exclaimed. I felt relieved and almost passed out. I was also under extreme pressure to use the restroom but told that I will have to wait until I get to my Covid special ward.

I don’t remember anything afterwards and till I found that I was now in a bed. I asked the nurse to show me the direction of my bathroom. I got up and as soon as I entered the bathroom I collapsed on to the floor. A person in PPE helped me and lifted me to the seat. Once I was back in my bed I passed out and remember nothing till I woke up next morning.

Now I had my Oxygen Mask covering my face IV drip on my left arm and two people in my cramped room of 10 x 10’ watching over me. It seemed to bea single bedroom with three stretcher beds 18 inches apart. They smiled at me and I quickly responded with same smile, full of fear and the unknown.

Capt Sharma with Oxygen Mask

Capt Sharma with Oxygen Mask

All Covid protocols seemed to be followed by Nurses, Doctors. Therapists and housekeeping staff were also wearing PPEs, conducting their roles like robots. One could not differentiate who is the nurse and who the doctor. They all looked the same. One could hardly make out the difference between female or male attendants. Only some had vermillion marks on the forehead. Yet there were three nurses that stood different from others in their caregiving. I later found out that their names were MUSKAN, HIMANSHI, and SHIKHA CHOUDHARY. The real COVID HEROES.

On the 24th morning at 2:30 am, I woke up with a deep unbearable abdominal pain, and found out that my Oxy Mask was not on. I felt like vomiting but could not. My voice choked. I grabbed the mask behind my headboard and quickly put it on. My aviator training must have helped. The pain quickly travelled near my heart and I almost passed out. I beat my chest, like Baboons do close to the heart and I started to breathe slowly. Then I shouted for the nurse loudly. The nurses came and soon 8 PPEs were huddled over me with equipment including nurses, doctors and I don’t know who else. I survived.

I later found out it was MUSKAN who attended throughout the day on my case. HIMANSHI, and VAISHALI who attended the following days with great care, which I will never be able to and have no idea if I can really ever return their gratitude. I was taken care of by real angels wearing PPEs. I salute Sant Parmanand Hospital for keeping such GODLIKE CREATURES.

Several other PPEs (ROBOTs) who were taking care of us were Neetu, Shivani and Jessey. Other attendants cleaning the room every hour were Abhishik, Pawan, Pandey, Seema, Akash, Rajani, Yoginder, Rahul and NISHA. I also salute Doctor, RAJESH who was my primary doctor taking care of me. The portable X-Ray technician, Ashish Pandey was also very professional.

Cards from Grand Children

Cards from Grand Children

Cards from Grand Children

Cards from Grand Children

Cards from Grand Children

Cards from Grand Children

Cards from Grand Children

Cards from Grand Children

 

Besides befriending my LIFE once again, I also made two other COVID friends, who survived along with me and returned home safely.

The rollercoaster ride

My family had booked a private ambulance through (company name???) to take me home. As soon as my discharge papers were complete, Hospital bills settled by my son-in-laws Sumit and Kshitij, they wheeled me down to the porch on a wheelchair.

When I had to walk few yards to enter the Ambulance, I almost buckled to the ground. I was feeling quite all right, able to attend to basic needs and also able to walk about in the hospital room. I was then helped into the Ambulance and asked if I wanted to sit or lay down on the stretcher.

I went for the stretcher, as I felt very tired. I noticed there were no tie-belts or securing equipment for patients in the Ambulance. As we moved I held the bars next to me to steady myself. My mobile phone went active with my older brother Dr Ram Sherma on the line from New York. I told him I would call on reaching home.

After Discharge from Hospital

After Discharge from Hospital

The Ambulance ride back home was a rollercoaster ride. I was reminded of the rollercoaster ride I once took in Magic Mountain in LA, years ago. Not only was the Ambulance driving very fast, it seemed the driver was paying no heed to potholes encountered. The driver had introduced himself as Anand Tyagi and his attendant Avdesh.

On reaching the driver asked me to get down from the Ambulance and walk to my apartment, which is on the 2nd Floor of the building with no elevators. I almost collapsed on the ground. I lost my patience and asked the attendant to hold me tight and help me walk up to my apartment. It took me 45 minutes to climb two floors. I was totally exhausted, and unable to even walk one step. I had lost all the strength gained at the hospital, in the 30-minutes of the Ambulance ride, a service run by nonprofessional owners.

I am now in recuperation at my Delhi home but I am almost paralyzed below the hip. Doctors were consulted by my daughters and told that I will be fine after few weeks and sometimes it can take up to 6 months.

I had survived and discharged April 27 evening. CHEERS!


Deepti Wahi

Deepti Wahi

Dr. Deepti Wahi is Capt Sharma’s neighbour and she was helping his family during this horrendous ordeal from day one. She is a graduate from the prestigious Maulana Azad Medical College(MAMC),and got her Masters from the 100-year-old Lady Harding Medical College.

She currently dons two hats: One, as a doctor and primary health care worker for children, the other, as Commandant of the paramilitary force Indo Tibetan Border Police, at its flagship hospital named the ITBP Referral Hospital, Greater Noida.

She is also proactively involved in social causes and extends medical counsel to those in need beyond her professional duty for the government. That is how she was connected Capt Sharma, who is also Secretary, at prestigious Asiad Games Village, where former (Late) Dr Abdul J Kalam and Metroman E Shreedhran have also lived. Astronaut Kalpana Chawla’s family also lived there.

Dr Deepti has risen to the challenge of the current pandemic. In addition to heavy duties in her hospital as a frontline Covid warrior, where she has worked non-stop through the devastating second wave of COVID in India. For the wellbeing of her community she has contributed beyond her duty hours to extend medical advice to whoever approaches her.

Others Doctors who also assisted Capt’s family were:

 Dr Kanwar Mahender Singh,leading Cardiologist in Niti Baghwho was in constant touch.
Dr Ravi Butani, a Dentist, neighbour and a very proactive Social Worker, EC Member at Asiad Village.
Dr Anjan Trikha, who now heads AIIMS Covid Hospital, being totally absorbed during this second wave, was also in constant touch.
Dr Subash Jolly(R) former CMO BHEL helped when he first reported mild fever first week of April.

All medical emergency facilitation was co-ordinated by his 2 daughters – Pooja Mehra and Shweta, supported by their spouses Sumit Mehra and Kshitij Chirimar that fateful night when thousands of deaths were being reported. A friend from Haus Khas, Vijay Jalani also called the emergency room to be prepared.


Capt Krishan Sharma (L) with his covid friends Nilesh (c) and Dhruv (R)

Captain Sharma is my Covid friend and moreover a great great mentor who sailed me through when I was worst hit, was weak willed suffering due to Covid-19 disease and hospitalized from 20 April 2021 till 28 April 2021.

He was on Bed A of room no 230 and I was on Bed C. Whenever I had any health issue he would forget about his own needs and come attend to my issues. I have always heard that Yamraaj waits for you at the hospital but for me Captain Sharma has been a God send angel always watching over me. – Dhruv

Delhi is hit by the Covid tsunami, hospitals are flooded with patients. Don’t know whets more dreadful – the fear of what may happen as a patient at the hospital or the distress of looking around and seeing others who couldn’t get a bed.

And then I met the Captain – a person who intrigued me but then became a friend for life. I initially couldn’t believe his tales but then began to understand that it was his zest for life that took him to places, had him meet people and build such a rich repertoire of experiences. The Captain made us (the other two sharing the room) feel at home, spoke words of inspiration, kept us motivated and positive and we all began to heal. The Captain himself had a health scare but survived, for he’s a fighter.

I am so glad to have found this remarkable friend in Captain Sharma and I look forward to the Burmese dinner with him and his family.

Cheers.

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