The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kin cry in the dark

Metro relives the four hours and 40 minutes in which Gouri Rani Chakraborty fought and lost her last battle to live...

3 am to 4 am: Gouri Rani drifted into a coma. Nurses called doctors and she was administered oxygen and antibiotic injections. Five doctors, including resident medical officer and acting superintendent Subrata Adhikary, went into a huddle.

'We checked her blood sugar level and found that it was extremely high. The patient was already on drip and we increased the insulin level,' said Ashish Ghosh, one of the attending doctors.

Gouri Rani's daughter Shikha and husband Robin, who were making frantic inquiries, were not told of her condition. 'Even the attendant, who was often conveying messages to us, could not say anything,' Shikha said.

4 AM to 5 AM: As Gouri Rani lay still on the bed, breathing through the oxygen mask, both eyes covered with bandage, the attendant (name held back on request) told the family that 'something was seriously wrong'.

'What we found shocking was the attendant telling us that for an hour, no doctor had come to check her,' said Shikha. 'The attendant told us that one didi came to her bedside, checked the pulse, wrote something and went back. We were really worried.'

5 am to 6 am: The nurses checked Gouri Rani's pulse, which was faint. The blood sugar level was again checked. It had shot up further. The patient was already in a deep coma. Another antibiotic was injected. 'But we knew things were getting worse,' one of the doctors said.

Outside, Shikha, Robin and a family friend were becoming impatient. Shikha wanted to get to the second floor, where her mother was fighting for her life. 'You have one red card and already an attendant is inside, so we cannot let you in,' said the gateman. 'My mother's condition is serious and we want to know about her,' she pleaded. The gateman refused.

6 am to 7 am: Gouri Rani's condition worsened and her pulse rate dropped further. 'The doctors just came and went after a brief examination. They did not give any medicine and were not telling me anything,' the attendant later recounted to the family.

'Do not create jhamela here. Get out of here if you have to shout. You cannot go inside,' the authorities told Shikha and Robin. 'We will not leave and you have to allow us to see how my mother is,' Shikha told them.

7 am to 7.40 am: The doctors found Gouri Rani sinking and administered a life-saving drug. They started a chest compression to keep her heart beating. Finally, at 7.40 am, Gouri Rani stopped breathing. She was pronounced dead.

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