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Cancer Patient Dies in Mumbai Waiting for Ambulance as City Drowns After Heavy Rainfall

Representative image (AP Photo)

Representative image (AP Photo)

The deceased, Ram Avatar Baitha, arrived in Mumbai for his stage 4 cancer treatment with his son and wife in December last year. He was taking chemotherapy sessions at the Tata Memorial Centre.

Waiting for an ambulance amid heavy rainfall, a 56-year-old cancer patient in need of oxygen died in the wee hours on Wednesday in Mumbai as the city was flooded. His body could be taken to the hospital 14 hours later after the deluge receded. The patient, who is from Shillong, died at a Dadar dharmashala.

The deceased, Ram Avatar Baitha, arrived in Mumbai for his stage 4 cancer treatment with his son and wife in December last year. He was taking chemotherapy sessions at the Tata Memorial Centre, the Mumbai Mirror reported. He had already taken nine chemotherapy sessions successfully at the hospital and the next session was scheduled for September 30.

Baitha complained of breathlessness around 2am on Wednesday. “My father was gasping for breath. I called up doctors, who said that we must rush him to Tata Memorial Centre. I frantically began calling several ambulance services and pleaded with them, but not one was ready to operate in the heavy rain. My father’s condition kept worsening; it was a painful sight. I was so helpless,” said the deceased’s son Vikas.

After two hours of wait, Baitha passed away.

When the family and the dharmashala’s authorities informed the Bhoiwada police and doctors at Tata Memorial Centre, however, the police failed to arrange a vehicle to transport the body to the hospital, the manager of the shelter, Prashant Deshmukh told the publication.

According to the protocol, the hospital should be informed when an inmate dies.

“We finally got an ambulance at 4am. I had to pay Rs 1,500 to cover the 3 km to the hospital,” Vikas said.

The deceased's body was cremated after the police and hospital procedures were completed.

"We were hoping to leave for our hometown in Bihar next month to allow my father to recuperate after his treatment. He had responded well to the treatment. He was hopeful of beating cancer. It never occurred to any of us that he could die in this manner. My mother is still in shock," said the final-year BSc student.

Meanwhile, Deshmukh added that the chemotherapy sessions scheduled for Wednesday had to be deferred due to the flooding in Dadar. “Our ground floor was submerged. We had to shift 60 patients from the basement and the ground floor to the upper floors,” he said.


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