Crowdfunding Comes To The Rescue Of Young Odisha Patient

An air ambulance arrived at Bhubaneswar on Thursday to shift a 24-year old software engineer, Amrit Pradhan, to Apollo Hospital in Chennai. The young patient from Odisha, who has been battling Covid-19 for over a month, received a large sum for his treatment via crowdfunding.

The four-member team transported Pradhan in an air ambulance equipped with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The ambulance arrived at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar.

At 5 pm, Amrit was carried in an ambulance from the COVID ward of AIIMS to the airport from where he was taken to Chennai. To facilitate quick transportation, the Odisha government created a ‘green corridor’ for the ambulance. The ambulance was able to reach the airport in a record 12 minutes.

“Thanks to the Commissionerate Police for providing the green corridor. My brother has been shifted to Chennai for the best possible treatment. His shifting to Apollo Hospital was necessitated as a majority portion of his lungs has been affected due to Covid and he needed immediate ECMO”, said Manisha Pradhan, the patient’s sister.

Hailing from Berhampur city, Amrit had tested positive for Covid-19 on May 2. Since May 12, he has been on ventilation after his lungs got affected. The doctors at AIIMS suggested better treatment and lung transplant.

It is then that the family learnt of the ECMO treatment and lungs transplant with an approximate cost of over Rs 1.5 crore. While the ECMO-supported air ambulance charge is around Rs 30 lakh, the expensive treatment costs more than Rs 2 lakh per day. The lung transplant cost ranges between Rs 40 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.

The family had no option but to seek help via crowdfunding. “All our family members, including parents, had Covid, and we have already spent a few lakhs on the treatment. With no options left, we decided to appeal on social media seeking financial assistance. Some friends suggested to go for crowdfunding through fundraising site Milaap”, said Manisha.

The family raised over Rs 63 lakh with the support of 5688 people. After the request was posted on the website, thousands, including celebrities like Sonu Sood and cricketer Irfan Pathan shared it requesting people to contribute.

“A week ago, there was no hope. Now we can think of providing him better treatment after the crowdfunding. The danger is not yet over. But the amount of support and blessings Amrit has received from across the country was just incredible. He is now a part of a big Indian family. We will fight till he is cured,” said his brother-in-law, Chidananda Tarai.

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