103-year-old Sikh man from Thane is country’s oldest ICU survivor of Covid-19

Marvelling at Sukha Singh Chhabra's ‘miraculous recovery’, hospital waives treatment cost

103-year-old Sikh man from Thane is country’s oldest ICU survivor of Covid-19

Sukha Singh Chhabra with his family. Photo: Taranjit Chhabra

Thane, June 30

In a huge relief to his anxious family comprising many great-grandchildren, a sprightly 103-year-old Sikh man here vanquished Covid-19 and has returned home to savour the victory, his close relatives said.

Sukha Singh Chhabra was wheeled out of Kaushalya Medical Foundation Trust Hospital here on Monday. He is ranked as India's oldest ICU survivor of Covid-19.

Chhabra's 86-year old younger brother, Tara Singh, who was also infected, spent days in the ICU, and has now been shifted to the ward, awaiting discharge from the hospital in a couple of days.

But for nearly a month, the senior Lahore-born Chhabra's entire family was practically on tenterhooks though Chhabra remained largely unaware of the potentially deadly infection afflicting him.

"On May 31, he tested positive. We downplayed it and requested him to get admitted to a hospital for proper care. He agreed without any fuss, so we didn't see any point in unnecessarily alarming him at his advanced age," his 39-year grandson Gurdeep K Chhabra told IANS.

After his swabs tested positive, he was wheeled into the KMFT Hospital on June 2 as his sons and grandchildren prayed, while his young great-grandchildren waited for the great grandpa to return home to play with them.

Tara Singh had come to visit the family briefly and lived with his elder brother, and hence both got infected and were admitted to the same hospital.

Chhabra's month-long stay in hospital was mostly lonely and without the hustle-bustle of his large family, due to the Covid-19 protocols, but he braved it through remarkably well.

"He had a very tricky course, going uphill and coming downhill. He was twice in and out of the intensive care unit, required non-invasive ventilation, inotropic supports to maintain his heart and lung functions for moderate Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, along with Covid pneumonia," said KMFT's Head of Critical Care Medicine Amit Lala Khomane.

A special team of doctors, comprising Khomane, Jayprakash Pednekar and Santosh Dwivedi, was assigned to treat Chhabra on the long road to recovery.

However, they generously acknowledged that "it was the patient's own determination to fight out Covid-19 at this advanced age," which was very important.

"We as doctors left no stone unturned to make him and our other patients win the battle," said another doctor.

Marvelling at Chhabra's "miraculous recovery", KMFT Trustees Amol Bhanushali and Sameep Sohoni decided to waive the treatment costs for Chhabra, said Shiv Sena Municipal Corporator Gurmukh Singh.

After he was accorded a warm send-off with a resounding round of applause, the weary Chhabra returned to the comfort and safety of his home.

"Before lockdown, he was very active as usual. He even visited Gurdwara Shri Dashmesh Darbar, climbed the stairs independently, prayed, took 'prasad' at the langar and returned home," said Gurmukh Singh, also the president of the gurdwara.

Gurdeep Singh Chhabra said his grandfather is quite weak and is on an intravenous semi-liquid diet for the next few days at his bungalow in Khopat locality of Thane.

"We are confident that he will soon bounce back to his active self after he starts savouring his favourite Punjabi vegetarian dishes that he has missed for weeks now," he laughed.

Besides his younger brother Tara Singh, elder Chhabra has two sons, Kesar Singh, 68, Niranjan Singh, 58, several grandchildren and many great-grandchildren living nearby. IANS

Top Stories

Farmer unions reject Amit Shah’s Burari protest site offer; decide to stay put at Delhi borders

Farmer unions reject Amit Shah’s Burari protest site offer; decide to stay put at Delhi borders

Decision was taken by representatives of several farmer orga...

More support, aid pouring in from NRIs for protesting farmers at Delhi

More support, aid pouring in from NRIs for protesting farmers at Delhi

Canada Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan tweeted saying he is w...

New farm laws have begun mitigating farmers' problems in short span of time: PM

New farm laws have begun mitigating farmers' problems in short span of time: PM

Says reforms have opened doors of new opportunities

Delhi Chalo march: BKU activist burnt alive as car catches fire near Tikri Border

Delhi Chalo march: BKU activist burnt alive as car catches fire near Tikri Border

Deceased had no land, wanted to help farmers: Family

8 states, UTs reported nearly 71 pc of new COVID-19 deaths in 24-hour span

8 states, UTs reported nearly 71 pc of new COVID-19 deaths in 24-hour span

It has said 22 states and UTs have recorded case fatality ra...

Cities

View All