Doctors of Indian descent try to help relatives caught in COVID crisis in the distance – fr

Doctors of Indian descent try to help relatives caught in COVID crisis in the distance – fr

As COVID-19 began its deadly wave in India last week, Dr Vincent Rajkumar, a doctor from Rochester, Minnesota, tweeted about how he and other doctors of Indian descent both felt desperate . [and] determined “to help their families and close friends halfway around the world.”
Other American doctors like him responded to his tweet, saying they felt the same as they tried to manage care and ship supplies thousands of miles away.

Rajkumar and his wife, who both work at the Mayo Clinic, are doing whatever they can.

“We have been inundated with phone calls asking for help to… get hospital beds for people or get oxygen for people or basically provide advice and care for sick people,” said Rajkumar at ABC News. “It went on uninterrupted for the whole of the past week. “

He tried to find beds and medical supplies for those in need of emergency help.

“But at the same time, we’re also getting calls for… someone is dying and we don’t have oxygen, we don’t have a hospital bed, and some of them have it. feel like we might know someone who can find the bed. So it was quite difficult, ”Rajkumar said. “And we have friends, so we call and make the phone calls, see if anyone can help, but it’s pretty tragic what’s going on there. “

Houston emergency doctor Dr Natasha Kathuria said she was “still concerned” that the pandemic would hit her and her family.

“For a lot of people, it’s hard to really understand how devastating this virus can be until it gets into your own home,” said Kathuria. “And it’s incredibly devastating that this is how he entered my home, through another country, which I never would have anticipated. “

Kathuria’s uncle in Mumbai is in the intensive care unit and Kathuria said it was a “constant battle” for information on her condition given the different time zones and the pressure on nurses and nurses. doctors.

“It’s been tough and fair knowing as a doctor that’s been through two outbreaks in Texas and seeing what this virus can do on the body, and knowing how lonely recovery is, and how amazing it is. isolating and mentally challenging, as well as physically. difficult, being that far away is crippling, ”said Kathuria. “It’s hard to think clearly. “

Kathuria’s uncle was unable to procure a ventilator due to the shortage of supplies, and Kathuria said navigating the hospital system has been difficult.

“It’s difficult, they lack medicine, they lack everything. They lack oxygen, they lack material, so for me as a doctor in America to try to figure out what is available out there in a constantly changing environment, ”said Kathuria.

Beyond helping family members, doctors who cannot help on the ground in India are trying to mobilize as many resources as possible to help the whole country. Dr Ash Tewari, who works at Mt. New York’s Sinai Hospital has started mobilizing supplies after losing a close friend to COVID-19.

“It made me pretty broken and I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t want to continue to be sad,” Tewari said. “I wanted to turn the tide and then I realized that he was not the only one, there may be others who could benefit from it. “

Tewari, who himself had COVID-19 and was born in Kanpur, led an effort with the help of friends and colleagues to find 25 ventilators and 100 sleep apnea devices with kits to convert them into fans. The supplies are transported to India by chartered plane to Mumbai, where they will be distributed to five public hospitals in Mumbai, Delhi, Kanpur, Kolkata and Bangalore.

“In three weeks this all evolved, and I have to say that everyone I spoke to [to] and people that I don’t even know, they just reached out and they helped, ”Tewari said. to help when they see the suffering. “

Rajkumar has also worked with COVID India SOS, a non-profit organization working to help respond to the virus in India. He said there was a lot of generosity and eagerness from people who want to help, calling it “very, very heartwarming to see people wanting to do something.”

Rajkumar and Kathuria urge their loved ones to follow public health guidelines to prevent their loved ones from falling ill. Rajkumar said he gave his parents, both aged 80, “very strict instructions” to stay home and follow health guidelines.

Kathuria said it was essential to remind her family of public health measures.

ABC News’ Sasha Peznik contributed to this report.


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