SRINAGAR: The youngest daughter-in-law of Meraj Ahmad Khan (name changed) of Makhdoom Sahab locality of the old city was expecting for the second time after having faced a miscarriage previously. Coincidently, flood devastated the Kashmir Valley when it was her scheduled delivery time, leaving the family worried and helpless.
The flood had blocked all the roads. Almost all hospitals, including the City hospital located on the outskirts of Srinagar where she was due to deliver her baby, were either submerged or inaccessible. And there was no public transport or ambulances to help the pregnant lady and her family.
Somehow, Khan managed an auto-rickshaw to take her to the nearby JLNM hospital at Rainawari here, only to return dejected.
“She had completed the nine month gestation, and was already in labour pain. But the doctors at JLNM refused to admit her. We tried to convince them to admit her because under those abnormal circumstances we wouldn’t have been able to rush her back to the hospital in case of any emergency, but our effort was wasted,” Khan recollects.
Dejected, Khan took his daughter-in-law to the maternity wing of the SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), only to face the similar treatment.
“At SKIMS, we showed the doctors all the documents related to her treatment at the City hospital, trying to convince them to admit her. But they didn’t listen to us, and asked us to return the next day,” he says.
“We went to SKIMS again on the following day, but there was no change in the behaviour of the doctors. We started to lose hope. We thought we have lost both my daughter-in-law and her unborn child,” he adds.
Seeing no help coming from the government hospitals, Khan rushed his daughter-in-law to a private hospital located near Soura on the 90-feet road. And the doctors agreed to treat her “for not less Rs 24, 000”.
“Had we not agreed to pay the hefty amount, saving my daughter-in-law and the grandchild might have been difficult. She underwent a cesarean, and both the lives were saved,” says Khan, who lives in a single storey house with families of his two sons.
Much to Khan’s delight, his daughter-in-law had delivered a healthy son. But the final cost of saving the lives had swelled up to Rs 32,000, says Khan.
“Rs 24, 000 was already a hefty sum for us to pay, but for the hospital authorities it wasn’t enough. They made us pays Rs 32, 000 eventually, adding several secondary charges to the initial amount we had agreed to,” he adds.
Khan returned home with his daughter-in-law and grandson Wednesday.
“Money will come again. Important thing is that the lives were saved,” he says, thanking almighty.