A nursing home in Howrah has kept a 37-year-old man, suffering from respiratory failure, on the only ventilator it has for the past 55 days. The treatment cost has been Rs 2.67 lakh, of which the patient's family has paid only Rs 30,000.
The nursing home has almost written off the rest as the family is not in a position to cough up the amount. Doctors at the clinic are contributing for the medicines.
'I am surprised by the clinic's gesture,' said Santanu Tripathi, superintendent of SSKM Hospital, from where the patient had once been turned away.
Sujoy Chatterjee, a contract labourer in Asansol, suffered a sudden respiratory distress on the night of March 18. His right side had been paralysed.
He was rushed to the sub-divisional hospital, which referred him to Burdwan Medical College. The next day, the medical college advised Sujoy's family to try Calcutta.
In the city, the first stop was SSKM Hospital. But Sujoy was denied admission there on the grounds that the hospital did not have a ventilator. An acquaintance then got him admitted to People's Meditreat, in Howrah, on March 19.
'Sujoy's respiration failed completely as he had an attack of Demyelinating Disease. We immediately put him on the ventilator. It's a miracle that he had survived till the 19th, ' said doctor Arunanshu Choudhury, of Meditreat.
Sujoy has been at the clinic now for 55 days. With just one ventilator, the nursing home has turned away other critically-ill patients.
'Normally, a patient suffering from Demyelinating Disease takes six to eight months to recover completely. But Sujoy has recovered almost 60 per cent by now. We hope to discharge him in another seven to 10 days,' Choudhury said. He hoped that the family would finally be able to pay the cost of the medicines.
Sujoy married just eight months ago. His father-in-law and elder brother are keeping him company at the clinic, while his mother and wife visit him in intervals.