A six-year-old boy, Sai Saran, who was in the paediatric intensive care unit for 57 long days battling pneumonia, dengue, infections and other complications finally went home on Wednesday after Rs 18 lakh of his medical bills that actually amounted to a whopping Rs 34 lakh was paid through crowdfunding. At a time when a seven-year-old girl combating dengue died at a Gurgaon hospital and whose parents were was charged over Rs 15 lakh, the story of Sai Saran comes as an inspiration for all. Doctors at Kanchi Kamakoti Child’s trust raised Rs 18 lakh to help Sai’s parents pay their hospital expenses. Among the 57 days spent at the hospital, Sai was connected to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine for 33 days, which helps the lungs rest and the body heal. “It’s rare to put children on ECMO for so long. The bill was mounting and the child was not recovering, but we decided not to give up. We decided that if parents can’t pay, we’d crowdsource the funds,” said the hospital’s chief intensivist Dr Bala Ramachandran, reports Times of India.
The boy’s father D Ashok Kumar, who works for a Korean manufacturing firm, said he was grateful to people who donated for Saran’s treatment. Kumar said, “I used all my savings. My company gave me Rs 5 lakh and friends and family helped. I will have to repay some of them,”. The doctors managed to crowdsource about Rs 18 lakh, and convinced the ECMO manufacturer to give them a discount. The hospital also gave a concession and the doctors’ fee came up to Rs 60,000.
Intensivists Dr Sajith Kesavan and Dr K Ravikumar diagnosed Saran with severe pneumonia when he visited the hospital on September 27. Two days later, when doctors found that a ventilator wasn’t helping, they sought help from doctors at Fortis Malar. On September 29, cardiac surgeon Dr K R Balakrishnan connected the boy to ECMO, which took over his lung function. The child then tested positive for dengue, and the doctor realised he also had dengue haemorrhagic shock. Sai had a 70% risk of mortality. Sai who needed dialysis, had also picked up a serious infection as his immune system was weak.
On October 31, doctors put him off the ECMO machine and kept him on a ventilator for a few more days. On Wednesday, doctors declared him fit for discharge.
Original article on financial express.