CHENNAI: A helicopter and a skilled Air Force team. This is what it took to safely airlift a pregnant woman, who was trapped in her home surrounded by flood waters at Ramapuram, and get her admitted to a multi-specialty hospital that had her medical records.
Much to the cheer of everyone involved in the rescue, Deepthi Velachamy (28) from Ramapuram near Guindy delivered twin girls on Sunday. Deepthi, who was in the ninth month of pregnancy, was first airlifted from her roof top to the Tambaram IAF Base and later to a private hospital in Porur within 15 minutes.
Speaking to Express, Air Marshal S R K Nair, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Headquarters Training Command, IAF, said, “It was a very calculated risk by IAF to rescue the pregnant woman without any delay.”
The Chetak helicopter had returned to the Tambaram Flying Instructors School after rescuing another pregnant woman, and was sent immediately to rescue Deepthi. Captain Sundeep Mehta of the IAF said it required a great deal of skills to secure the woman into the helicopter with skids (landing assembly) as the pilot, Commander Simon, sitting on the right, had no clue about the distance between the roof top and the small ladder used to get the woman on board.
TNIE’s Edition dated December 7 carried a series of screen grabs of the woman being rescued by the IAF chopper, posted on FB by a Hyderabad-based techie
“He and the third person in the helicopter had to coordinate solely based on the instructions of the co-pilot sitting on the left, and since there was hardly any space in the Chetak, a utility helicopter, for the third person to sit once the lady lay down, it was challenging to bring her to the base in five minutes,” he told Express.
Upon landing, Deepthi developed labour pain and began crying, following which the Station Medical Officer and medical team advised them to take her immediately to the private hospital where her medical records were available online. She was airlifted again and taken to the hospital before her husband could reach her.
According to the IAF officers, the woman gave birth to twins on Sunday.
“In crisis situations like these, we have to think out of the box. Since we can’t turn a blind eye to the call, we had to carry forward with the mission after the weighed options tilted positive,” Air Marshal S R K Nair added.