As her organs started failing, the family members of the 23-year-old gangrape victim held each other’s hands in the ICU of Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore, their eyes fixed on the cardiac monitor.
At 9pm, Singapore time, on Friday, the doctors said ‘sorry’ to the family, as the patient’s condition took a turn for the worse.
“They told us to be by her side during her last moments. We cried all through the night and kept looking at the monitor. They had told us when the screen shows zero, it means her heart has stopped beating,” one of the brothers told HT.
For nearly eight hours, the victim’s mother, father and her two brothers, both younger to her, circled around her bed. At 4.45am, she breathed her last, ending a 13-day-long spirited fight to stay alive.
“She was lying still. When mother touched her body, it was cold. She lost consciousness after the heart attack in Safdarjung and never spoke to us after that,” recalled the elder of the two.
From the time they learnt of the rape to the 10 days at Safdarjung Hospital, the family though traumatised, didn’t lose hope. So when they were told on December 26 that their daughter was being flown out of India for treatment, they agreed readily. “Jo bhi karma hai kar lo, bass bacha lo humari bachchi ko (Do whatever you have to, just save our child),” the father told the doctors.
But on their second day in Singapore, it became clear that the young woman was not going to make it. "They (Mount Elizabeth staff) hid nothing from us and I, too, explained everything clearly to our parents," said the brother.
"Papa is still composed but Maa is devastated. She just won't stop crying."