CHENNAI: His own neighbourhood was flooded. But, the 18-year-old braved adversity and distribute relief materials with like minded youngsters. Sadly, he died on Saturday after a week’s struggle at the Government Stanley hospital.
M Imran, a class 12 student at the Government school in Washermanpet, was bit by a poisonous insect after which he became weak and was forced to be admitted, his family claimed. However, doctors who treated the boy blamed his death on a rare medical condition.
On Saturday evening, hundreds of locals and relatives gathered at the Thiyagarayapuram 10th street in Tiruvottiyur where Imran’s body was kept. Almost all the neighbours and family members vouched for his perfect health condition and were shocked by his sudden demise. Imran’s father, Mohammed Jaffer, a water can supplier, and his mother Salma, were uncontrollable.
“He even spoke to me last night,” recalled Salma outside the family’s single room accommodation. “Past midnight, he started panting and his body was trembling. Troubled, I ran to the nurses. They said there was nothing to worry,” Salma recalled. A few minutes later, the panting and trembling stopped. Imran died around 2 am as his mother witnessed his last moments.
Last week, on Dec 4, Imran along with his friends went to distribute relief materials to other areas in the north Chennai neighbourhood. According to the family the boy didn’t develop fever or showed any other symptoms for the next two days. But suddenly became weak on Sunday night. “He couldn’t hold the glass of milk which I gave him,” Salma said. He was rushed to a private hospital nearby and was later referred to Stanley hospital.
“Friends told the family later that he was bit by an insect while wading through hip-deep water to distribute relief material,” B.Settu, Imran’s maternal uncle said. He added that the boy might have been afraid to tell his parents fearing to be scolded.
Emotional family members blamed the doctors at Stanley hospital for failing to ascertain the poison in Imran’s body. There is no visible mark of the insect bite on the boy’s body though, according to the family.
Doctors, however had a different version to tell. “The boy was affected by the Guillain-Barre syndrome,” a doctor said. “A rare condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves leading to muscle weakness and even paralysis.”
According to hospital sources, it had even affected his lungs and the boy was put on ventilator support. On Saturday evening, Imran’s last rites were performed.