Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj works with local authorities in Kanpur to save an end stage oral cancer patient

Forty-five-year-old with end stage oral cancer was in critical condition and required immediate surgery

Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj, Fortis Hospital, Kanpur, COVID-19 lockdown, Cancer patients, Dr Mandeep Malhotra

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 lockdown, an end stage oral cancer patient, Jaspal, from Kanpur was successfully treated at Fortis Flt. Lt. RajanDhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj (FHVK). Arranging the logistics for his urgent travel to Delhi was no easy feat, yet it was imperative as his condition was very serious and he needed immediate medical intervention. Through the combined efforts of Dr Mandeep Malhotra and his team, the administrative staff at FHVK, the District Magistrate’s Office and the Gurudwara Committee at Kanpur, Jaspal reached New Delhi in time for life saving surgery.

When Jaspal’s tumorbegan to bleed, his oncologist informed him he needed immediate surgery. However, he was unable to avail surgical facilities in Kanpur and needed to travel to New Delhi for the same. Unfortunately, at the very same time, the COVID – 19 lockdown was instituted and Jaspal had no way of getting to Delhi. A complete travel ban had been instituted. The urgency to get to Delhi led him to seek helped from a volunteer group, Dukh Niwaran Sewa Society, which connected him to Dr Mandeep Malhotra in Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj, who took up his case immediately. The hospital staff then developed a subsidized package of treatment which was just enough to sustain the cost of medicines, equipment, sutures and the PPE(Personal Protection Equipment). The Gurudwara Committee, Kanpur and Dukh Niwaran Sewa Society, along with prominent members of Kanpur’s society provided funds for Mr. Jaspal’s surgery and the District Magistrate’s Office, Kanpur facilitated the travel pass and transport to the Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj.

Dr Mandeep S Malhotra, HOD - Head, Neck and Breast Oncoplasty at FHVK said, “On presentation, the tumor in the left buccal mucosa had proliferated, affecting the outer skin and upper jawbone. The tumor had also bled once, signaling rapid deterioration in Mr. Jaspal’s condition. He underwent radical surgery on 15th of April 2020, which included the removal of his entire left cheek including the outer skin and both the jaw bones (upper and lower along with neck lymph nodes). His face was reconstructed using tissue from his chest and scalp. He was kept in the ICU for 48 hours, following which he began to show signs of recovery. He was discharged from the hospital on 20th of April 2020 and is now cancer free with fully healed face. He no longer faces the threat of impending death. This is an example of our society’s resilience, readiness to help in challenging times and joint efforts to save a life.”

The patient, Jaspal shared, “I had almost lost all hope but then Dr. Mandeep and his team, the Gurudwara Committee, Dukh Niwaran Sewa Society and the DM’s office worked together to ensure I reached Delhi on time and was provided the necessary treatment. Even though there was the threat of the COVID 19 infection, Dr. Mandeep and supporting staff were there for me throughout without any hesitation. I am extremely grateful and thankful to them.”

Dr Rajeev Nayyar, Facility Director at FHVK adds, “Even while the fear of the COVID 19 infection continued to threaten the health of those involved, local transport authorities, the hospital administrative staff and team of doctors at FHVK worked in tandem to save a life. In times such as these, where we feel far removed from reality, it is important to take a minute to celebrate these small accomplishments. They are an example of our resilience and positive human spirit.”