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Nationwide donation pours in for unemployed Odia youth, battling against COVID-19

We are grateful to everybody as their act of charity has rekindled hopes of my younger brother’s survival, she concluded in an emotion-jerked voice.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

A 24-year-old unemployed COVID-infected youth, battling for life at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar, was airlifted on Thursday in an air ambulance to Apollo Hospital, Chennai, thanks to a nationwide fundraising for a lung transplant.

As the critically ill Amrit Pradhan’s family had made an emotional appeal in social media platforms, people across the country came forward to donate nearly Rs. 60 lakh in exemplary show solidarity for the cause.

Amrit, admitted to the hospital (AIIMS Bhubaneswar) since 2 May remained on ventilator support till he was airlifted today for lung transplant.

The COVID-19 related infection had taken a heavy toll on him as the infection had aggravated to pneumonia, septicemia and a major fungal infection in addition to many other complications, according to Pradhan’s members.

Pradhan, an engineering graduate from Berhampur city, had taken up a job in the corporate sector. However he quit the job during the pandemic to pursue his dream to crack the union civil service job.

“As his condition deteriorated and showed no signs of improvement, the AIIMS authorities told us to shift Amrit to a hospital that is equipped with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support as well as lung transplantation. These facilities are incidentally not available in Odisha,” said Amrit’s elder sister Manisha Pradhan.

Later on inquiry, we learnt that ECMO supported airlift to an ECMO and lung transplant facility alone would require Rs. 30 to 40 lakh. The exorbitant cost of treatment was simply beyond our financial limits, she said.

In the last ditch effort, we made an emotional appeal for monetary help giving details of Amrit’s health profile. Our plea began to pay dividends with people across the country lending a helping hand to save Amrit. A sum of Rs.57,24,750 was mobilized through Milaap, a free crowdfunding platform that raises funds online for medical emergencies, she said.

The donations made by people ranged from Rs 100 and above. We are grateful to everybody as their act of charity has rekindled hopes of my younger brother’s survival, she concluded in an emotion-jerked voice