INCREASINGLY OUT OF REACH
BENGALURU: “While she lay in my arms, she looked at my face and kept pleading to get her oxygen as she gasped for air. But I couldn’t do anything,” said software professional Martin Thomas, whose Covidpositive mother breathed her last on his lap without getting an ICU bed on Monday morning. This even as Martin’s father, Thomas, lay in another room, struggling to breathe and asking for oxygen.
Thomas, 71, and his wife Radha, 65, residents of Tavarekere, visited their daughter’s house recently and came back to their residence. As they were suffering from fever and shortness of breath, they got themselves tested for Covid-19. On Saturday, their results came positive. Martin said he isolated his father and mother in two separate rooms and searched for ICU or oxygen bed for two days, but in vain.
“From Saturday, I ran from pillar to post and dialled BBMP helplines, zonal helplines to get oxygen support. Eventually, some BBMP officials in the ward arranged a couple of oxygen cylinders and both my parents survived for a day. Meanwhile, I continued my search for beds,” Martin said.
On Sunday night, Radha told Martin that she was having severe cough and a bit of breathlessness. “But all changed in 12 hours as by 10am, her oxygen level dropped to 30. She slept on my lap choking and asking for oxygen. I was totally helpless; I held her by my hand and was in tears. I saw her dying without being able to breathe. In the other room, my father also couldn’t breathe and kept asking me about my mother’s condition,” said Martin.
Martin had little time to grieve for his mother or even think of giving her a dignified burial. He rushed his mother’s body to a hospital mortuary and began hunting for a bed to save his father. He took his father to St John’s Medical College Hospital, where Thomas was provided with oxygen support. The hospital authorities have asked Martin to find an ICU bed for him.
As on Monday evening, according to BBMP, there were 35 ICU beds vacant and 24 ICU ventilator beds available in the city. Martin, however, had not found a bed even at 6pm.
Martin had little time to grieve for his mother or even think of giving her a dignified burial. He rushed his mother’s body to a hospital mortuary and began hunting for a bed to save his father. Hospital authorities have asked Martin to find an ICU bed for him