Lockdown: Unable to pay for gangrene treatment, priest loses leg

Even as his condition worsened due to him being a diabetic, he continued treatment with the quack due to the family’s financial constraints.  

Published: 21st September 2020 08:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2020 08:42 AM   |  A+A-

Rama Krishna at a private hospital in Visakhapatnam | EPS

Express News Service

SRIKAKULAM: Financial hardship due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown prevented a temple priest in Mandasa from getting properly treated for gangrene, as a result of which one of his legs had to be amputated. Unable to go to a medical professional, K Rama Krishna Sharma, the only breadwinner of his family which lives in the village in Srikakulam, went to a local quack at the start of the dangerous condition three months ago. Even as his condition worsened due to him being a diabetic, he continued treatment with the quack due to the family’s financial constraints.  

With the gangrene worsening by the day, the family admitted Rama Krishna to a private hospital in Visakhapatnam after they were assured of financial and moral support by friends and locals. To save him, doctors had to surgically remove the right leg from the knee. To cover the cost of the operation, Rama Krishna’s wife and daughter mortgaged their ornaments as the treatment for gangrene is not covered under the YSR Aarogyasri scheme, and sought aid from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.  

Kommajoshyula Ashritha, his daughter, said: “A small infection in his leg developed about three months ago. My father has been performing puja and archana at the local Vinayaka temple for the last 15 years. After the lockdown was enforced, we lost our daily earning and, due to financial troubles, he was forced to get treated by quacks and local doctors. When the infection got severe, villagers and friends helped us to consult specialists in Visakhapatnam. But it was too late and the doctors removed his right leg till the knee to save his life. We spent over three lakh rupees only for the surgery and `10 lakh is needed to bear the cost of the entire treatment.”

Stating that the surgery was possible only because she and her mother had to pledge their ornaments, besides some support of friends and locals, she appealed to the district administration and Fisheries Minister Seediri Appala Raju to grant them aid under the Chief Ministers’ Relief Fund for the treatment.

476 new cases emerge in Srikakulam
Srikakulam district recorded 476 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, after which the total count stood at 35,944. The district has 5,593 active cases after 30,040 patients were cured and sent home. The toll here stands at 311, as on Sunday. Out of the 31,519 cases reported in Vizianagaram so far, only 7,809 are active


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