Silchar, May 28: When 108 ambulance driver and his technician colleague found that the last mile of road to the Telichora village in Borkhola constituency of Cachar district, where they had gone to pick up two Covid positive patients, was inaccessible and unmotorable, they decided to do the next best thing to get the patients out of the village.
Ambulance driver Islam Uddin Laskar and technician Jainur Ali, both dressed in PPE kits, ferried 48 year old Covid positive patient Rajendra Ghosh on a bicycle to the waiting ambulance parked over a kilometer away from the village, while the wife preferred to walk.
Sharing his experiences with The Assam Tribune on Friday, Islam Uddin Laskar said that when Shahid Alom Laskar, the district incharge of GVK EMRI 108 ambulance services informed that they have to pick up a patient from Telichora area and shift them to Silchar Medical College and Hospital(SMCH), they reached the place but found the stretch of at least 1 km in condition which cannot be traversed by vehicles that detered movement of the ambulance upto the residence of Rajendra Ghosh.
"Amidst the the hurdle posed by the dilapidated road, it was upto us to find a way to take out the patient who was unable to walk and his SpO2 had dipped to 89 percent then. We found no one approaching for assistance and began to explore options without wasting further time. Eventually, we decided to ferry the patient on a bicycle and asked Jainur to assist with utmost care. While the patient had agreed to our method of taking him to the ambulance, his wife walked the road and reached till the ambulance with us. It took us one hour to carefully move the patient till the ambulance dribbled through the worsened road. But we were satisfied that we could do our bit to safely bring the patients to SMCH," the ambulance pilot maintained. Shahid Alom Laskar too reacted saying that since the outbreak of the pandemic, they have been dealing with similar experiences in emergency circumstances responding to the call of duty.
Meanwhile, Rajendra Ghosh recollected the incident and said that this was a one- -of-a- kind experience for him to reach the hospital and thanked the ambulance staff for their steadfast initiative. " We were tested COVID-19 positive on May 15 and had been in home isolation. The medical staff of the hospital near our home insisted us to get admitted at SMCH for better treatment and we nodded in the affirmative. Upon reaching the hospital amidst such difficulties yet helped by the two men in PPE kits, doctors examined us and we were tested and found to be negative. Later in the evening, we were released and our relatives took us to my in-laws' place at Srikona. I wish to reach home after recovering from extreme weakness while my wife has recovered recently," Ghosh said.
Cachar Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli has lauded the efforts of the health workers. "This is the true spirit of health workers. No public was willing to come to help. The men in PPE kits showed fabulous humanity and took the onus of bringing the patient to stability and performed EMT to stabilise. True spirit of service and this needs to be celebrated," the Deputy Commissioner said.
Interestingly, pictures of the ambulance staff in PPE kits carrying the patient on a bicycle which went viral on social media brought appreciation for the health workers while fetched criticism on the plight of the road and the hardships faced by the residents amidst the pandemic.