Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.
A brother-sister duo drove over 200 kilometres from home and stayed in the vehicle in the hospital's parking lot for 10 days while their mother recovered from COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh.
Payal Singh (25) and her brother Akash (23) drove to Lucknow from Lakhimpur Kheri for their mother's dialysis. They had the routine of returning on the same day every time they went for treatment.
However, their mother, Parul Singh, developed fever, and the hospital asked them to conduct an RT-PCR COVID test.
"We gave her samples for the test, but since she was a suspected case of COVID-19, we had no other option but to spend the night in our car in the hospital's parking lot and bought food from local joints. Going to any relative's place or hotel would have exposed them to infection," Payal told The Times of India.
Parul Singh tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile, the hospital authorities refused to conduct dialysis, and the siblings started looking for a private hospital for the treatment. But it was cancelled when Parul's oxygen level started dropping.
They checked but failed to find an oxygen-supported bed in the hospital. The siblings managed to arrange five small oxygen cans that lasted for a while. This was reportedly on April 22, and the family stayed back in the car again, hoping for an improvement in her condition. Parul's dialysis was done too when her oxygen levels improved.
Even though the dialysis was done, they could not provide her treatment for COVID-19 for the lack of hospitalisation. They tried to maintain her oxygen level using proning on the backseat of the car for another night.
On April 23, their father bought an oxygen cylinder in a hired car. However, Payal and Akash sent their father back home to prevent him from getting infected. Parul was put on oxygen support in the car. On failing to arrange a bed for another day, the family had to spend another night in their four-wheeler.
Finally, on April 24, the siblings were able to get access to a bed for their mother at the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS) and, after undergoing treatment, was discharged on April 30.
During the time, Akash contracted mild symptoms, but they did not let the situation get the best of them. While he remained isolated in the car, Payal single-handedly managed the crisis.
Even when they just had masks and gloves to protect themselves and was forced to use public toilets, the family was able to beat the odds successfully.
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