‘Seeing him smile, I feel proud to be a doctor’

It was an emotional meeting on Thursday when Dr Gayatri Patankar visited Neelmani Sharma at SevenHills Hospital, who she had saved from the jaws of death at Mumbai airport

Five days after she saved his life at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, Dr Gayatri Patankar visits Neelmani Sharma at SevenHills Hospital in Andheri on January 26

He still doesn’t know if there’s a god. But in the last few days, Neelmani Sharma has certainly found his angel.

On Thursday morning, as our nation celebrated its sixty-eighth Republic Day, 46-year-old Sharma couldn’t control his emotions as Dr Gayatri Patankar walked into his cabin ward at the SevenHills Hospital in Andheri.

With his family and the team of doctors gathering, Sharma couldn’t thank the doctor enough for giving him a fresh lease of life. After all, had the doctor not snatched Sharma from the jaws of death, Sharma wouldn’t have been alive after he collapsed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai on Sunday.

Returning from a business assignment in Bangkok, Sharma was waiting for his connecting flight to Ahmedabad, when he suddenly collapsed.

Dr Gayatri Patankar is an anaesthesiologist from Thane and was returning from a family vacation in Dubai when she noticed Neelmani Sharma lying unconscious in wheelchair. She administered CPR and saved his life

Dr Gayatri Patankar, an anaesthesiologist from Thane, was returning from a family vacation in Dubai when she noticed an unconscious man in wheelchair. He was lying pulseless and cynosed (bluish discoloration of skin), when she administered CPR and saved him. On Thursday, five days after she saw him returning from death bed, her happiness new no bound.

“Seeing him smile and breathe normal, I feel proud to be a doctor today. That night, he had a complete cardiac arrest. He had no pulse. He was not breathing. His body had turned blue. I immediately volunteered and extended my service. I started giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)- lifesaving technique to maintain circulation and breathing. With defibrillator (a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest) provided by airport authorities, I gave him three shocks. Since there was no oxygen cylinder, an ambu bag was used. Injection Adrenaline was given. I intubated Sharma too for effective ventilation and soon his heart was revived and he was taken to hospital,” said Patakar.

Hospital authorities later got in touch with her and updated her on Sharma’s condition.

Sharma, who works in automobile industry, underwent a bypass surgery on January 23 evening. After spending three days in ICU, Sharma was shifted to the ward.

“I was on a business trip to Vietnam. We were returning to Mumbai from Bangkok.  I was supposed to take a connecting flight to Ahmedabad-Gujarat for home when at the luggage belt area at Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport, I collapsed. I have no idea what happened to me after that and how I landed up at the hospital,” said Sharma.

Left to right: Ashok Sharma (Neelmani’s younger brother), with Neelmani, his wife Vipul and Dr Patanakar

Standing next to his bed with tears in her eyes, Sharma’s wife Vipul told Dr Gayatri how she is a God sent angel for them.

“We were video calling each other while he was in Vietnam. We last spoke before he took a flight for Mumbai. He said he will land at 10.30 pm and take a connecting flight to Ahmedabad. We were waiting for his call after reaching Mumbai. We were worried when his number was not reachable. His colleague informed us,” said Vipul.

Vipul even Googled Dr Patankar’s number and called up her clinic to express her gratitude.

She further said, “My husband has cheated death because of Dr Patankar. My entire family is grateful about the fact that she went beyond her duty and set an example that humanity does exist.”

Doctors at Seven Hills Hospital also termed it a miracle survival. Dr Hemant Shinde, Anesthesiologist at Hinduja Health Care explained that in sudden cardiac arrest, when the brain is deprived of oxygen supply  even for 3-4 minutes,  it leads to certain complications like paralysis of any part of the body, blindness etc.

“Sharma is a miracle. He is absolutely fine. It is also because there was a timely medical intervention and quick thinking of Dr Patankar,” said Shinde.

Appreciating Dr Patankar’s effort, Dr Shinde said the Basic Life Support (BLS) should be taught in the schools.

“Children if told what to do in life saving emergencies will be far more proactive and will lead to better outcomes as it’s difficult for anyone to reach the patient to the hospital in 5 minutes. It takes only 5 minutes for the brain to suffer irreversible damage, hence time is essence here.”

He said emergency can happen anywhere hence more and more people should be taught BLS so that help is received by the patient at the site .

“The teachers initially should be taught and they in turn will teach the students. This can be done under the supervision of the doctors initially and later left to the schools and colleges,” he added.

Dr Ashish Bhumkar, ENT surgeon and Patankar’s colleague said, “Her actions as a doctor, obviously, place her at the topmost in terms of talent and expertise. Importantly, the humanness that sprung out of her, making her do what she did, for a total stranger: this places her in the highest position as a human. She deserves to be saluted.  Her act screams help the stranger to your best possible ability.”

Related link
Heroic doctor goes beyond the call of duty, saves life of a passenger at Mumbai airport

19 Responses to "‘Seeing him smile, I feel proud to be a doctor’"

  1. Dr raju shah   January 26, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    A great humanitarian act and service which needs to be appreciated . Salutes to Dr Gayatri for such selfless service in need of time. You deserve a Padma Shree. Keep up the good work. God bless you.

  2. urmila   January 26, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Actually with Dr Gayatri, the doctor of SevenHills Hospital, who successfully operated upon him in emergency, should also be appreciated as well. Gayatri is heroic, but the surgeon is not any less either. Why is the surgeon’s name not disclosed?

    • DJ   January 28, 2017 at 6:36 am

      The reason is….. call of duty and beyond the call of duty… I hope you get the difference….

  3. JAYASHREE THAKORE   January 26, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Yes, she has done wonderful heroic job. Many times doctors also hesitate to treat unknown. There is fear if something goes wrong & you are caught in many hassles, but she did not bother & did her perfect duty as anaesthetist are best at such place. I think such things should be taught to every individual, especially at airport

  4. Dr Panna Snehal Thakkar   January 26, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Dr Gayatri Patankar. Gr8 example in today’s busy, money-minded world

  5. Dr. Hemant   January 26, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Commendable job. Presence of mind, willingness to help others, confidence in oneself, ready to take up the challenge, courage to perform duty in presence of many strangers,guts to face any odds…..
    Dr. Patnakar is our national HERO.
    BLS should be part of regular school curriculum. CRP should be taught to maximum people and people should be encouraged to make use of it when required without any fear or guilt in case something goes wrong and life could not be saved after such attempt, which may happen unfortunately.

  6. Dr. R. K. Gupta   January 27, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Really heroic work. I feel proud to be a Doctor.

  7. Homyar Gandevia   January 27, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Hats off to doctors like Dr.Patankar. As rightly mentioned BLS should be taught so that more life can be saved when doctors are not present during such crucial moments. She should be nominated for an award as she rightly deserves it

  8. Gauram Trivedi   January 27, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Great work Dr.Gayatri. This is called “God is there to save you” God is not in frame or a statue.

  9. Dilip Balwant Kulkarni   January 27, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    She is a God / Angel to Mr Sharma and his family and a true guiding spirit to we the Doctors. Her stupendous act is worth saluting on this Republic Day by the entire nation and humanity.

  10. Satish Dixit   January 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Congratulations to Dr. Patankar for extending such timely help. Such incidents mostly happen while the person disembarks the flight and walks all the way to the luggage belt. It could DVT or other medical condition that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. My father in law unfortunately passed away after returning from his US visit. I think they should actually have a duty doctor near the luggage belt when most flights arrive, so that he can extend timely medical help.

  11. Jatin Narula   January 27, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I am an anesthesiologist and I totally understand the inhibition she must have overcome before jumping in to perform CPR and attempt saving life of an unknown person. But I believe this whole incident is getting undue public attention, may be because it was done at an airport and a high profile location. Doctors (more so anesthesiologists) are trained to do the same and I have myself resuscitated and saved patients after having done CPR for 30 minutes until help arrived! We do it every single day! It’s our job! Please keep the undue media attention and publicity and public sympathy out of it! Kudos to the lady doctor anyways.

  12. Varghese K   January 27, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Good story, Somita

  13. Shyam Ghodke   January 28, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Thank to Dr Gayatri for her great & unforgettable work. The is a live example of Humanism. Once again thanks to Dr Gayatri and congrats to Mr Sharma for his new life. God is there & he is great. Just we have to believe & TRUST.

  14. Shyam Ghodke   January 28, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Thanks to Dr Gayatri for her great & unforgettable work. The is a live example of Humanism. Once again thanks to Dr Gayatri and congrats to Mr Sharma for his new life. God is there & he is great. Just we have to believe & TRUST.

    Salute to Dr Gayatri Patankar.

    • Dr.Ranjitsinh Rajput.   January 29, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Great!Dr Gayatri we are proud of you.Great Job done.

  15. Bhupat Bujad   January 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Great initiative By Dr Patankar. Dr Patankar really proves that a doctor is someone who can cheat death of a person too. I salute to a woman Like You..Thanks a lot Again to save our Sharma sir’s life…

  16. Dr.Ranjitsinh Rajput.   January 29, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Great! Dr Gayatri you have done a great job! As doctors, we all are proud of you.

  17. Raj Kumar Pugalia   January 29, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    ईश्वर की कृपा से नीलमणी शर्मा हमारे बीच स्वास्थ्य लाभ कर रहे हैं,धन्यवाद डॉ.गायत्री पाटणकर को जो भगवान के रुप में वहां उपस्थित थी,और उन्होंने बीना समय गँवाये शर्मा जी की जान बचाई।सलाम डॉ गायत्री।


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