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Saved in the nick of time

india Updated: Feb 20, 2007 12:56 IST
Highlight Story

The team of doctors attending to the hospitalised Saif Ali Khan have
said the actor could have suffered a major heart attack if he had ignored the symptoms he felt on Sunday evening.

In fact, on Monday morning there was a scare that the 37-year old actor’s condition may require him to be at Lilavati Hospital, Bandra, for 10 more days. But Khan’s family doctor felt that any decision could be taken only after monitoring his condition for the next 48 hours.

Saif Ali Khan, who landed from Cape Town after shooting for a schedule of Abbas-Mustan’s Race, complained of uneasiness and pain in the chest on Sunday evening. He went to his family physician Dr Ramesh Agarwal at the Janki Kutir complex, Juhu. Agarwal advised immediate hospitalisation.

The actor has shifted from his Lokhandwala bungalow to a rented apartment in Versova, with his Italian girlfriend Rosa, ever since his separation from his wife Amrita Singh. They have two children, Sara (10) and Ibrahim (5).

Sharmila Tagore and Soha at the Lilavati Hospital on Monday morning.

“The situation could’ve been worse, it could’ve even been a heart attack, had Saif not come to my clinic and immediately got admitted into a hospital,” said Agarwal, Khan’s family physician for over 15 years.



Around 6.30 pm on Sunday, the actor arrived at Agarwal’s Juhu clinic for a check-up, on his way to Max Stardust awards, where he was scheduled to perform.



“He came in complaining of chest pain. I immediately got a cardiogram done, but it showed a blockage, so I gave him some medicines as well as an injection. He felt better, but the pain didn’t subside,” said Agarwal, adding he then felt it was better for Khan to get admitted into a hospital.



Khan also called Rosa, who accompanied him in the ambulance. Even on his way to the hospital, Khan was in pain, but by then it was milder. At Lilavati, Khan again went through an ECG and an angiography, which confirmed a clot. “He was lucky to reach the hospital on time since the clot hadn’t formed fully. He’s alright now,” said Agarwal.



News didn’t take long to spread and there was chaos outside the hospital. Rumour mills worked overtime until the Dean of Lilavati, Dr N Trivedi, along with Soha Ali Khan and Vidhu Vinod Chopra announced it was nothing more than chest pain and everything was under control.



Agarwal said it is a sign of the times that people as young as Khan are complaining of chest pain and heart attacks. “This generation leads such a hectic lifestyle that they tend to overlook their health. It’s all because of stress,” he said.



Khan, once a heavy smoker, had quit a couple of months ago, but had resumed the habit recently. He is also a moderate drinker. Among the first few celebrities to visit Khan in the ICU were Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Sanjay Dutt. They were followed by Sudhir Mishra, Farhan Akhtar, Fardeen Khan with wife Natasha, Zayed Khan, John Abraham, Preity Zinta, Pradeep Sarkar, Kunal Kohli, Ken Ghosh and Salil Chaturvedi.



Fardeen said there was nothing to worry. “He’s perfectly alright and he’ll return home in a day. He suffered minor chest pain, that’s it,” he told the waiting media.



JP Dutta arrived around 11.50 pm but didn’t speak to the media. Salman Khan, accompanied by Govinda and his wife Sunita, Subhash Ghai, Arbaaz Khan, Malaika Arora Khan, Amrita Arora, Usman Afzal and Arpita Khan arrived at 1.20 am and made a quick exit after meeting Khan. “Nothing to worry about, he’s alright,” said Govinda. Shah Rukh Khan visited the actor around 2 am, but gave the media the slip.



Khan’s mother Sharmila Tagore addressed the media after visiting him on Monday morning. “He’s much better now. He’s on a liquid diet and doctors have assured us there’s nothing to worry about. He’s in the ICU today, he’ll be shifted to the special room soon and discharged the day after tomorrow,” she said.



Ex-wife Amrita Singh came on Monday morning, but managed to avoid the media. Last year, Khan had suffered a painful appendix during a commercial shoot at Kuala Lumpur. “He was operated there but that has nothing to do with the pain now. He just needs to look after himself better,” said Agarwal.



Though doctors claim Khan will be discharged in a couple of days, the rumour is that he will end up staying in hospital for a little while longer. “He has to be in hospital for 48 hours. We’ll take a decision only after that,” said Agarwal.

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