28 Apr 2021: 85-year-old gives up hospital bed for 40-year-old, dies at home
Sending out a message of courage and sacrifice during a grim health crisis, an 85-year-old man voluntarily walked out of a Nagpur hospital asking doctors to offer his bed to a younger patient.
He passed away at his home on Monday.
Narayan Dabhalkar was taken to the Indira Gandhi Government Hospital in Nagpur for COVID-19 treatment on April 22.
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Details: 'I am 85. I have lived my life'
Going against the advice of his doctors, Dabhalkar opted for a voluntary discharge after seeing a woman pleading to secure a hospital bed for her 40-year-old husband.
"I am 85. I have lived my life," the man reportedly told the doctors.
He said that saving the life of a young man was more important. "Their children are young...Please give my bed to them (sic)."
Details: Doctors had advised him to stay at the hospital
Even as doctors at the facility told Dabhalkar that his condition was not stable and he required hospitalization, he decided to go back home.
The octogenarian then called his daughter and told her about the situation. Three days later, he died at his home.
A post on social media celebrating Dabhalkar's act of sacrifice went viral on Monday.
Quote: He wanted to spend his last moments with his family
Dabhalkar's daughter Aasawari Kothiwan said, "We rushed him to IGR when his oxygen levels dipped on April 22."
"We got a bed after great effort but he was back home in a couple of hours. My father said he would prefer to spend his last moments with us. He also told us about a young patient," Kothiwan told The Times of India.
Fact: Dabhalkar had been a state government employee
However, an official told TOI that it is up to the doctors as to whom they would assign an empty bed. Dabhalkar had been an employee of the Maharashtra government's Department of Statistics and an active member of the volunteer organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Situation in India: How bad is the COVID-19 situation in India?
Several states have been reporting a shortage of hospital beds as coronavirus cases break world records in India.
The country has been reporting lakhs of new cases and hundreds of deaths daily for the past few weeks.
In the last 24 hours, India logged 3.6 lakh new infections, the highest surge for any country. With nearly 3,300 fatalities, it also marked its deadliest day.