Amidst heavy traffic, an ambulance raced against time through the streets of Kerala. It was on a mission: to save the life of a two-week-old infant who required an emergency heart valve surgery. The child of a couple from Kasargode, was previously being treated at Mangaluru and was on his way to Sree Chithira Government Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala for surgery, The News Minute reported.
Child Protect Team, an NGO, was to transfer the infant, its ambulance cover 600 km and 12 districts in less than 10 hours, which keeping regular traffic in mind, would take up to 15 hours. Airlifting had been ruled out due to complications arising out of pressure variations, The News Minute report said.
Recognising the power of social media, the NGO live telecasted the entire journey on Facebook. They started the journey at 11 am. And as expected, social media did its magic and samaritans took it upon them to ensure smooth traffic for this ambulance.
Even Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Facebook with the message that “each moment is precious for this infant and people should co-operate to help this van reach its destination.” However, as the infant’s health started deteriorating midway, the Kerala government took the consent of the parents to conduct the surgery in Kochi’s Amrita Hospital, cut the destination short to 400 km.
According to a report in Mathrubhumi the ambulance completed 420 km from Mangaluru to Kochi in 5:30 hours.
State Health Minister KK Shailaja has issued a statement that all the expenses of the surgery will be taken up by the government. Praise for the NGO has been pouring in on social media. An Indian Express report said that the infant has been put under observation for two days before deciding on the further course of action.