KASARGOD: When neighbours were hesitant to approach a toddler in quarantine who was bitten by a viper, a headload worker moved quickly to save the girl. Jinil Mathew, the worker, is now under quarantine after the one-and-half-year-old girl tested positive for COVID. But she is out of danger.
“The doctors said if she was brought 15 minutes late, we would have lost our daughter,” said Jeevan Animoothil, the girl’s father. Jeevan, wife Nitha and their three daughters came to Panathur from Patna (Bihar) on July 16.
Since then, they were under quarantine at their house at Vattakayam. The couple taught in a private school in Patna. On the night of June 21, their youngest daughter, Josina Anna Jeevan, was bitten by the snake when she reached out to the bedside window.
“I pushed aside the curtain and saw the snake coiled up on the window grill,” Jeevan said. He said they were tense but tore up a cloth and bandaged the arm. “Then Nitha and I rushed out of our house and started screaming that a snake had bit our daughter,” he said. Vattakayam is a residential area with around 50 people living within shouting distance.
The couple said they saw neighbours crowding outside their house, but no one came inside to help us. “Maybe because we were in quarantine,” Jeevan said. “That’s when Jinil rushed in ‘like an angel’. I will always call him an angel because he saved my daughter,” he said. Jinil, CPM’s Vattakayam branch secretary, lives right opposite to their house. “I heard them wailing and rushed in,” he said.
Jinil went straight to the room, killed the snake, picked its carcass in one hand and the little girl in the other, and had the mobile phone pressed between his ear and shoulder, Jeevan said. “He was not even wearing a shirt but was doing everything like Superman. By the time he reached the road, an ambulance had arrived,” he said.
Jinil had called his friend Binu Kundupally, who drives an ambulance at Panathur. Jinil’s friend Jomon too got into the front seat of the vehicle. Jinil’s wife Jomy got him a shirt before he go t int o the ambulance. Jeevan and Nitha had to stay back as they were in quarantine.
“Jinil was seeing my daughter for the first time but they kept talking and laughing in the ambulance till they reached the hospital,” said Jeevan. Jinil said the little girl was calm though she was bleeding. They first reached the district hospital but were directed to the MCH in Pariyaram.
There, two nurses and a doctor were waiting for them. “She was taken to the ICU in five minutes,” Jinil said. Back in Panathur, two youths, Albin and Vishak, took the car of one Mariamma and asked the parents to hop in.
“They took a risk to take us to Pariyaram,” said Jeevan. Jeevan is back in quarantine in his house. Nitha is with her daughter at the MCH. Jomon and Jinil are in quarantine in a school at Balanthode. CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in an FB post, applauded Jinil for his act. “By saving the precious life, he has upheld humanity,” Kodiyeri said.