ARATTUPUZHA : He cannot forget the dreadful days overcome with pain and grief. Nobody to take care of him, moving from hospital to hospital, with no money in hand, Retnakumar of Munduchirayil House, Kallikkad, Arattupuzha, who was a hero of the August 2018 flood, remembers the horrible days.
Tragedy struck while he and four others were going in a country boat to rescue a bedridden patient from a flooded house at Pandanad near Chengannur on August 16, 2018.
He was navigating the boat through a thickly planted arecanut plantation. All over the locality was under more than six to seven feet and the flow was heavy after the Pampa and Achenkovil rivers breached the banks. The boat entered the premises of the patient’s house.
While trying to turn the boat, Retnakumar lost control and the boat capsized. He was thrown out and he hit the stump of an arecanut tree which broke in the previous day’s rain and wind.
He suffered several injuries, but the worst one was on the left side of the belly. After a few hours’ wait, the other members of the team took him to the Parumala hospital. “The doctors administered first aid and discharged me. The next day, the pain increased and I approached the Alappuzha Medical College Hospital. They conducted a minor surgery, but the wound did not heal,” he said.
“As my condition deteriorated day by day, I got myself admitted in the Amrita Institute of Medical Science, Kochi, and spent more than 56 days in the hospital,” he said. “I am a fisherman and I had no income for treatment. Later, my situation became news and with the help of NGOs and other agencies, the treatment was done, though the wound has not healed properly. Most days, I cannot go for work,” he said.
“My house was not completed at the time of the accident. Later, then Collector, S Suhas, handed over Rs 1 lakh, which was donated by his friends, to me. Other NGOs helped complete the house, in which I live with my wife Nisha and twin daughters Arathi and Anjali.”