| Rekha Mahajan at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi on Friday. Telegraph picture
New Delhi, June 3: Rekha Mahajan looked on in relief as her son Rahul accepted a glass of water from doctors at Apollo Hospital today, hours after he was taken off the ventilator.
“The relief on her face was palpable. She had been in shock ever since she heard the news of his illness yesterday, coming as it did just a month after her husband’s death,” said Dr Anupam Sibal, medical director of the hospital.
A few minutes later, when Pramod Mahajan’s son smiled feebly at his mother, tears welled up in her eyes.
“It can happen when there is a sudden release from extreme tension,” Sibal explained.
The doctor, who later spoke to the patient as well, seemed satisfied with Rahul’s condition.
“While it would be incorrect to say that he is fully conscious,” Sibal said, “he is able to speak coherently. He is also able to recognise his family and is well-oriented.”
Rahul and Pramod’s former secretary Bibek Moitra were brought to the hospital in the small hours of Friday after they fell severely ill following a late-night party at the late BJP leader’s official residence. Bibek was declared dead on arrival and Rahul put on the ventilator.
Sibal said Rahul had been brought to the hospital in the nick of time. “Had he been brought here a few minutes later, his condition could have been beyond recovery.”
With the patient’s condition improving significantly today, he was taken off the ventilator and his family was allowed inside the cabin. Rahul’s sister Poonam, uncle Prakash Mahajan and a few cousins were at Apollo with Rekha.
A few hours earlier, the mother had been beside herself with anxiety.
“She was very worried ' she has been through extremely trying times. She knew his condition was critical,” said Dr Prasad Rao, who is leading the team of doctors treating Rahul.
Rekha, who arrived in Delhi around 6 pm yesterday, rushed straight to Apollo. Rahul, however, was in the intensive care unit, which is barred to visitors, even close relatives. The family waited on the sixth floor while Rahul fought the biggest battle of his life five floors below.
As the hours dragged on, and Rahul stayed hooked to a ventilator in the ICU, his mother turned extremely emotional.
“Her voice was reduced to almost a whisper as she kept repeating that she needed to see her son,” said Dr Vinit Suri, one of the doctors treating Rahul.
With the controversy surrounding Bibek’s death and Rahul’s illness getting thicker, the Mahajan family chose not to speak to the media.