Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Rajkot woman who suffered stroke on flight to US walks again

Mumbai: The Rajkot resident, who suffered a brain stroke on board an Air India flight from Delhi to Chicago last November and had to spend close to two months in Stockholm where the pilots diverted to, is doing well now and has even started walking.

The senior citizen couple had been on their way to attend their son’s wedding in the US when the midair emergency happened. Instead, they wound up at the Karolinska hospital in Stockholm.

In a gesture of gratitude, Usha and Dr Jaysukh Makwana shared a video of the recovery made by Usha, 63, with Indian families in the Swedish capital last weekend. It was the magnanimity of the desi diaspora, Indian embassy officials and the hospital staff that had kept the couple afloat.

After the stroke in November, she couldn’t move, have food or water. Now she can do all of that and even walk 50-100 steps,” Usha’s husband Dr Makwana said. “My wife’s two-month hospital stay would have overshot our medical insurance coverage limit. But the hospital didn’t charge a penny,” said Dr Makwana.

The hospital is linked to the Karolinska Institute, the medical university which awards the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine every year. Once Usha was better, the couple had to cancel plans to return thrice: twice because airlines—a Swedish and a Middle Eastern carrier—denied them boarding over her medical condition.

The third time, Usha tested positive for Covid a day before the trip. Each time, the hospital re-admitted her and took the opportunity to rehabilitate her, said Dr Makwana. Stockholm-based Indranil Sinha, one of the first to help the Makwanas, said Indian families had rallied around. “The families formed a WhatsApp group to coordinate and every day, a vegetarian tiffin would be sent to the hospital for Dr Makwana,” said Sinha. Dr Makwana acknowledged the generosity. “About 12-13 families sent food and hosted me. Tiffins came from families belonging to Maharashtra, MP, Gujarat, Bengal, Haryana and other Indian states.”

16/02/22 Times of India

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