Kerala: Ambulance Driver Covers 516 km in Under 7 Hours to Transport Infant Needing Heart Surgery
New Delhi, Nov 17: When ambulance driver Thamim was called for work on Wednesday night, he thought it was just another emergency call. However, when he reached his workplace – Pariyaaram Medical College in Kannur – he was asked to do something that has probably not been done in the past. He had to transport a critically ill infant from Kannur to Thiruvananthapuram – a distance of over 500 km – as fast as he could.
Thamim knew he had a task to accomplish and failure was not an option. Fathima Labia, the 31-day-old infact, needed to undergo an emergency heart surgery. He had been suffering from prolonged breathlessness since last week. Doctors in Kannur said he needed immediate specialised medical attention. They advised her parents to take her to SRI Chithra Mission Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.
Racing Against Time
Time was running out fast. Air lifting Fathima to Thiruvananthapuram was considered to be the only plausible option. But the nearest airports – Calicut or Mangalore – were at least five hours away by road. It was decided that to transport Fathima to Thirvanthapuram via road.
The hospital management in Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram, state police and Thamim joined hands to complete a feat which resembled a movie plot. The Kerala Police created a 516-km green corridor for a smooth and obstacle-free drive of the ambulance. (Also Read: Green corridor enables liver transplant for AIIMS patient)
A special team was deployed to coordinate with the traffic police of all the districts through which the ambulance had to pass. At about 8.20 pm on Wednesday, Thamim started for the journey which he had never attempted in his life so far. His ambulance was accompanied by at least two SUVs of the Kerala Police to make sure that Thamim didn’t have to slow down.
Wow…Hatsoff to Kerala Police,Public n to that Ambulance Driver….. pic.twitter.com/n08gfhhQoF
— Abdulsathar (@Abdulsa32993233) November 16, 2017
With just a small break for refuelling in Kozhikode, Thamim drove continously at speeds hovering around 100-120 km per hour. At 3.22 am on Thursday Thamim’s ambulance was outside the casualty ward of the hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. Doctors who were fully prepared for the emergency immediately took Fathima inside. A journey which usually takes around 14 hours was covered in half the time. (Also Read: Chennai police creates green corridor for brain dead patient, transports heart from Bengaluru in 55 minutes)
Everyone lauded Thamim for what he has achieved but the humble driver thanked all those involved in the mission for making it possible. “I could stay drive (in the range of) 100-120 (kmph)… thanks to (the) well-coordinated efforts by all the teams,” Thamim said.