The Prime Minister’s Office has released Rs 2 lakh for a portable ventilator and related accessories needed by a 14-year-old boy from Bihar to finally get discharged from AIIMS.
Rohit Kumar, who hails from Bihar’s Siwan district, has been occupying bed 19 in the neurosurgery-3 ward at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for more than a year though he should have been discharged by January 1, 2016 after a spine surgery.
He couldn’t leave because his family was unable to afford a portable ventilator that costs around Rs 1 lakh.
“We are farmers and earn Rs 6,000-7,000 a month, we can’t afford a machine worth a lakh,” says Munni Devi, Kumar’s mother. She has rented a room near Badarpur on the Delhi-Haryana border to be with her son.
Two years ago, Kumar fell down and damaged his spinal cord. The surgery saved his life but Kumar is paralysed waist down and sometimes need ventilator support to breathe, especially when he is sleeping.
After HT reported the story, AIIMS was inundated with requests for monetary donations for Rohit. On reading the story, Jitendra Singh, the MoS PMO, spoke to the boy’s treating doctor to get an estimate of how much money would be needed to rehabilitate Kumar and took up the matter with the Prime Minister.
The money was promptly sanctioned from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and a letter for the same was issued on February 13. “His family was poor and he deserved to be helped. The PM maintains that whatever possible should be done in such cases,” said Singh, who was himself a practising doctor in Kashmir.
“We are waiting for the ventilator and to see whether he tolerates it well. He can be discharged immediately after that, maybe within a week,” said Dr Deepak Agarwal, professor, neurosurgery department, AIIMS.