After a two-month long battle against coronavirus, CRPF Commandant Chetan Cheetah, who had taken nine bullets in an anti-terror operation in Kashmir and lived to tell the tale, is getting discharged from AIIMS Jhajhar and going home.
His wife Uma Singh, who was enroute to AIIMS when News18 spoke to her, said she was hoping to get him home by Thursday afternoon. “I am very thankful to the AIIMs doctors and staff. He will come home after two months. We will have to take precautions, but this is a huge relief," she said.
Cheetah had to be put on ventilator support twice in the last one month. He was admitted in AIIMS Jhajjhar on May 9 after his oxygen levels started dipping. On May 30, he had to be put on invasive ventilator. Nine days later, he was brought back to the ICU and doctors hoped the worst was over. But 48 hours later his situation worsened and he was put back on the ventilator. The next two weeks, as per an AIIMS doctor, was an hourly struggle between life and death.
However, on Thursday doctors said he could go home. “It usually means bad news if a patient has to be brought back on the ventilator after being removed once, but Cheetah is a fighter," a CRPF officer told news18.
The doctors have advised continued oxygen support and physiotherapy at home for the 45-year-old. “Full recovery will take time. But doctors were apprehensive that if he stayed any longer in hospital he could catch a secondary infection. We have to be cautious at home too," Uma Singh told news18.
Cheetah was the commanding officer of the 45th Battalion in Kashmir, which in February 2017 took on terrorists in the Hajjin encounter during which he was shot nine times and also lost an eye. The bullets had pierced through his brain, right eye, abdomen, arms and back. He was given the Kirti Chakra, the second-highest peacetime gallantry medal, for his bravery.
Colleagues of the CRPF officer said it was a miracle that Chetan Cheetah, who was comatose for a month-and-a-half after the encounter, got back on his feet. Cheetah had rejoined work in 2018 after a year of surgeries and medical procedures.