New Delhi, Jan. 4 (PTI): Cardiovascular surgeon Naresh Trehan, who had seen the 23-year-old gang rape victim before she was taken to Singapore for further treatment, today strongly defended the decision to send her abroad and said it was taken to stabilise her condition.
Trehan said he had never seen such “brutality inflicted” on anyone in his career and still could not accept the “gravity of the crime”.
More than once, the doctor said the “brutality” was such that it could be called a “rarest of the rarest of the rare” case.
Everyone, including the government, was focused only on getting her better treatment if it was “existing somewhere in the world”, he said.
“Doctors at Safdarjung treated her the best possible way they could do. She had lost her intestine and everyone was praying that one day she will be ready as a candidate for an intestinal transplant. Transplant is a long journey,” he said, stressing she was not in any condition to undergo a transplant.
Since Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, where the paramedical student was taken, is known for multi-organ transplants, it was speculated that the girl was being shifted for an intestinal transplant. Doctors not connected with her treatment had then raised questions about the move, saying transplant was not a medical emergency and could wait till the girl who was then battling life-threatening infection got better.
“She was sent (to Singapore) more to stabilise her (condition) and help her get through the ordeal and not for an immediate intestinal transplant,” said Trehan, the managing director of Medanta Medicity that helped set up an intensive care unit aboard the air ambulance that took the girl to Singapore.
Mount Elizabeth Hospital specialises in treating patients with trauma of this magnitude, he added.
“Doctors were doing the best they can do. Then they thought of the centres for long-term transplant. If someone asks, ‘was the girl alive when she was transported,’ the answer is yes,” he said.
The girl, who was assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16 and thrown out of the vehicle, died in Singapore on December 29.
Trehan, who was speaking at a news conference to give details about an intestinal transplant conducted at his hospital in November-end, was at pains to explain that intestinal transplants cannot be rushed. The patient has to be put on TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) for at least a couple of months before the surgery, he said.
“We had conducted an intestinal transplant (at Medanta) before (the gang rape), but she was not needing it then because of the brutality of the crime... when people make statements they should be responsible,” Trehan said in response to queries about a hospital offering to perform the surgery on the victim.
Noting that the girl was “very sick”, Trehan said her family was “desirous” of the girl being moved anywhere in the world for better treatment. She was taken to the Singapore hospital, which specialises in treatment for such trauma, after several doctors had seen her and decided she needed to be sent.