For a man, who took five bullets from a close range during an ambush by militants in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and suffered a 20 cm-long and wide open wound on his stomach, survival is nothing short of miracle.
But the 27-year-old J&K Police constable owes it to the untiring efforts of doctors, who performed 12 major surgeries on him and transfused 74 units of blood and related products to save his life.
The constable was part of a police party that came under attack by militants in early January. He took five bullets, which ripped through his liver, diaphragm, lungs and perforated his left arm, left thigh and leg. He also had multiple fractures in his left arm and was bleeding profusely when he was brought to the Military Base Hospital in Udhampur (J&K). Three of the initial four life-saving surgeries had to be performed on him in a span of four hours to stop internal bleeding. Thirty units of blood had to be transfused to make up for the massive blood loss.
Three days later, doctors at the base hospital decided to air-lift him to AIIMS’ Trauma Centre, where he landed on ventilator late on January 10 evening. Doctors at the trauma centre performed eight surgeries on the constable over a period of one-and-a-half-months. The surgeries were performed to stop bleeding and repair the damaged organs.
“The most difficult part was to push the intestines inside and cover the 20 cm x 20 cm wound on the abdomen. A large graft was taken from his thigh to cover the wound and we managed it perfectly,” said Dr MC Misra, chief, trauma centre, who headed the team of surgeons.
“We got worried when he developed infection in the wound but since he was young, we manage to control it well. Fortunately for him, his main artery and vein were not damaged,” added Dr Misra.
Two-and-a-half-months after being discharged, he is recovering well. From a mere 38kg, he now weighs a healthy 53kg.
“He can lead a normal life. At most, there might be a possibility of developing incisional hernia, a growth on wound due to scarring that can be tackled,” said Dr Sushma Sagar, plastic surgeon at the hospital, who was also part of the team.