PATNA: If death is a near-certainty, it must mean rediscovering the meaning of life, that’s what Gaurav Rai realized a few days after he was cured of Covid-19. His life hung by a thread; oxygen is what he needed immediately.
“I was brought to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) on July 14… my wife took several rounds of the city to get a cylinder of oxygen for me,” recalls Rai. That was a deeply transformative moment for him.
Having seen himself through the deadly virus infection, Rai decided to turn his near-death experience into an unforgettable journey of life: he has started a ‘mobile oxygen bank, which he runs from his car.
The Patna man has been able to save the lives of at least eight Covid-positive people, and 14 others are on oxygen support, being provided by him. His individual help is valuable as Patna like other parts of Bihar is reeling under the pandemic.
Rai has donated blood for more than 86 times and plasma for six times and is ready again to donate plasma for the Covid-19 patient at AIIMS. His free ‘mobile oxygen bank’ is running with 30 cylinders bought from the couple’s hard-earned money for the needy patients under home isolation. “I am arranging more money through my friends to increase the number of oxygen cylinders,” says Rai.
He moves with oxygen cylinders in his car across the city and is available on call as he has made his number public through local sources and the FM radio channel. “I don’t charge anything. I take a photo of the person needing oxygen and request him to return the empty cylinder,” Rai said. Impressed by Rai’s service, the owner of a refilling plant at Kumhrar has given him a discount. “I’m getting medically fit for donating plasma. The corona infection has renewed my faith in god and, of course in doctors,” says Rai.