Kolkata: Miracle does happen! Don’t believe? Ask the family of Md Tarique of Paddapukur off Park Circus in Kolkata.
On 28 April, the 24-year-old dashy youth was out on a midnight city drive in a friend’s car. Crazy about speed, Tarique was seated next to the driver’s seat and all was fun till the car met with a fatal accident on Kesthopur flyover on VIP Road.
The car hit the road median at an extremely high speed, and in the process, an iron rod from the road divider pierced right through Tarique’s head and got stuck.
“The nearly 3.5 feet long and one-inch wide rod entered through his forehead and popped out through the back of his head. It was a terrible scene to withstand. We lost all hope,” Tarique’s cousin, Azizul Haque, recalls.
AT THE HOSPITAL
The accident occurred at about 2.30 am and police could bring Tarique to the private Apollo Hospital on EM Bypass in the city around 3.30 am. This is because the fire brigade personnel had to use a gas-cutter to cut the other end of the rod that was still hinged to the road divider.
“I received an emergency call and rushed to the hospital at once. In my long career as a neurosurgeon, I had seen such cases only in the movies before. The road that pierced Traique’s head was still stuck and he was unconscious,” says Dr Binod Singhania.
Dr Singhania at once formed a medical team and took Tarique to the operation table at 4.30 am. Before that, among other things, they had to make use of the larger CT scan machine in the oncology department for a scan of Tarique’s brain as a head with a long rod stuck cannot enter the regular size CT scan machine.
“It was a moment of challenge for me and two other surgeon colleagues. The only ray of hope was that there was no heavy bleeding inside the brain. We removed the rod through endoscopy and conducted the surgery with adequate haemostasis that kept the bleeding in check. It took us nearly 2.3 hours,” the neurosurgeon in his late 60’s recalls.
Traique was then moved to the intensive care unit and put on ventilator support. He was shifted to a regular bed after five days. Today, exactly after a month, he has been discharged from the hospital.
“He can sit up but can’t walk as yet. Also, because of the partial damage to his brain, he has lost his speech. But we are hopeful that with regular physiotherapy sessions and willpower, Tarique will eventually regain his speech even if with some imperfections,” Dr Singhania adds. “He does not have a lifet risk now.”
Critical care specialist Dr Suresh Ramasubban, who looked after Tarique in the ICU, says that non-removal of the rod from Tarique’s head at the accident spot went in his favour.
“In case of any impaled injury such as stabbing with a knife, other sharp weapons, or in a case like this, the weapon must be removed only under medical supervision. Else, it will cause excessive bleeding and put the life of the injured person at further risk,” Dr Ramasubban points out.
The hospital has raised a bill of around Rs 12.16-lakh for the entire course of treatment. “We have been able to pay only Rs 2.80-lakh so far and yet the hospital is not putting up any pressure. We have vowed to clear their dues in installments,” cousin Haque adds.