iconimg Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sidhartha Roy, Hindustan Times
Dehradun, June 26, 2013
For 54-year-old Sreedevi help came all the way from UK. Well, almost. The homemaker from Andhra Pradesh was on a pilgrimage when she was injured in an accident following the flash floods — a boulder dislodged by the heavy rains hit her on the head. She was airlifted by the Indian Air Force and admitted to a nearby hospital but despite a brain surgery, her condition deteriorated and she slipped into coma. And that is where the London-based Dr Mohd Shafi Shali found her and had her transferred in an ambulance to Delhi, where she may now have a better shot at life.

Dr Shali originally hails from Andhra Pradesh but is currently employed with the UK’s National Health Service. He was in Delhi for a project when tragedy struck Uttarakhand.

The soft-spoken doctor who specialises in treating strokes rushed to Dehradun to help survivors.

When he found Sreedevi at the local hospital and assessed her condition he knew she needed better medical care. 

On Tuesday, Dr Shali visited the Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun, to look for an air ambulance for Sreedevi. As luck would have it, he came across members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee who were rescuing survivors in a private jet hired by them.

The committee members immediately agreed to send a special air ambulance from Delhi to airlift Sreedevi, who has been on constant ventilator support since.