A woman whose husband is going through treatment for post COVID-19 complications in Hyderabad, has said that she has spent Rs 1.5 crores ever since he tested positive with the viral infection.
With all her family's saving spent on his treatment, she had no option left but to seek financial assistance from the government and donations from the public for his further treatment.
People have been suffering from both health and financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many are recovering from the deadly disease, some are facing post-COVID complications. Amongst them is Manish Kumar Gohiya, a middle class IT employee who is a native of Madhya Pradesh but used to work in Hyderabad.
On May 4, Manish had tested positive for COVID-19 after undergoing an RT-PCR test. On May 10, he got admitted to a local hospital as his oxygen levels fell alarmingly.
Though he recovered from COVID-19, the condition of his lungs deteriorated due to the disease as well as the usage of steroids as a part of COVID treatment.
Sheela Mehra, the wife of Manish, said for further treatment Manish was shifted to AIIMS Bhopal on May 14.
"At AIIMS, it was identified that Manish is suffering from Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) alongside Pneumonia. But the doctors, due to Manish's deteriorating health condition had advised us for advanced treatment and have suggested the usage of ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) support machine for sustaining his life," Sheela told ANI on Sunday.
She said, but due to the unavailability of the ECMO machine at AIIMS Bhopal, Manish was airlifted from AIIMS Bhopal to Yashoda Hospital at Somajiguda here in Hyderabad, but by then he had developed fibrosis in his lungs.
She said, for further treatment, he was then shifted to Yashoda Hospital at Secunderabad. But even after shifting him and making sure that he receives better treatment, there was no improvement in Manish's health condition.
Sheela added, "For further treatment, Manish was shifted from Yashoda to KIMS here in Hyderabad on July 7. After shifting him to KIMS the doctors saw signs of recovery in Manish."
Nearly after 70 days of continuous hospitalisation and treatment, Manish has shown signs of recovery. But this recovery came down hard on his family members in terms of money. Sheela stated that till now, she has spent around Rs 1.5 crores on Manish's medical expenses.
She stated that the ECMO machine itself is very expensive and costs around Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 2.5 lakhs per day. When the ECMO circuit with the Oxygenator of the ECMO machine is changed, the cost of that particular day goes to around Rs 5 lakhs.
Speaking about her finances, she said: "Even the health insurance that we get from the company where we work has been utilised and further the company where Manish worked has supported his expenses by giving nearly Rs 60 to 70 lakhs which has been spent on his treatment."
She mentioned that she had to put all of her and Manish's savings into his treatment, adding that she is left with no money.
"Till now we were able to spend money in an attempt to sustain his life and finally when he started recovering, we are left with no money. I do not want to lose him just because of the lack of money," said Sheela who also mentioned that the duo got married last year.
She said that as per what doctors stated, there might be a need for lung transplant which itself costs around Rs 50 lakhs and further might take around 3 to 4 weeks until which Manish has to be put on life support.
"The doctors said that even after the lung transplant, Manish has to be in hospital for about another month post-surgery."
She stated that apart from the Rs 1.5 crores she has spent to date for Manish's health, it might cost another Rs 1.5 crores for his surgery.
Not knowing what to do, Sheela is looking for support from the Central and State Governments, though she received an assistance of Rs 2 lakhs from the Madhya Pradesh government, to which she said would be exhausted in just one day as Manish is still on ECMO support.
Sheela has requested both the Central and State Governments as well as the people to come forward and help her save the life of her husband.
She stated that has resorted to fundraising in crowdfunding platforms like Milaap, Ketti and Impactguru and requested people to come forward to help save her husband's life.