Mahesh was discharged on his birthday
Mahesh Choragasti, 14, suffered from multiple ailments, including Covid pneumonia, diphtheria and complete heart block, and was in the hospital for two months. His family struggled to meet the medical expenses but, to their relief, the hospital waived charges for the second month.
His mother Ansubai Choragasti told STOI he fell at home two months after feeling uneasy. “We took him to Dr Bidari’s Ashwini Hospital and after conducting tests, doctors said he had a heart condition and started the treatment.”
Ansubai is an agricultural labourer from Padaganur village and stays with her three sons and a daughter at the home of her brothers Saibanna Kotaragasti and Ramu Kotaragasti. She has been living apart from her husband for about eight years. Saibanna said they spent Rs 1 lakh for treatment in the first month. “We saw little for his survival and as we couldn’t afford further treatment, wanted to get him discharged. However, doctors said they would bear his hospital expenses and cost of medicines. When Mahesh recovered on July 14, his birthday, they celebrated by distributing cake to everybody,” he added.
Hospital head Dr LH Bidari said Mahesh underwent emergency transvenous pacing for complete heart block on day one.
“He also received 10 vials of anti-diphtheria serum on day one and two for suspected nasal diphtheria. He had an acute kidney injury. Later, he developed diphtheria polyneuritis with respiratory failure needing mechanical ventilation. He underwent tracheostomy surgery in the fifth week of stay,” he explained.
He said the total amount waived off was about Rs 7 lakh. “We contributed Rs 1 lakh from our hospital trust. The cost of the first 15 days was covered under the government scheme. As it was a rare case of diphtheria myocarditis with CHB, the first of its kind in North Karnataka, we took it up as a challenge. It was also a learning opportunity for our doctors,” he said. He added, “At the time of discharge, he was able to sit with support and move all four limbs. Experts like Dr Gautham Vaggar, Dr RN Karadi, paediatric intensivist Dr Swamy, Dr Shilpa and the entire medical team helped in the healing process.”