A Glorious Career That Came To A Grinding Halt
People who follow table tennis would definitely remember the trauma caused to former national champion V Chandrasekhar as a result of the wrong treatment given by Apollo Hospital.
In September 1984, V. Chandrasekhar, three times national table tennis champion and Arjuna Award winner, went to Chennai's Apollo Hospital for treatment of a seemingly innocuous injury. He needed a minisectomy to remove a loose cartilage in his knee, but in a classic exhibition of callousness during the operation, the oxygen supply was turned off for a few minutes, leading to the death of some brain cells.(A healthy person will not be affected if oxygen supply to the brain is cut off for up to four minutes; seven minutes will kill.)
Chandrasekhar lost his speech, vision and body co-ordination. He slipped into a coma for nearly two months, and was completely blind for over eight. Today, because of narrow field vision, he cannot drive; finds taking the stairs and turning his body difficult. His thought process is lucid, but there's a gap between thought and speech.
Chandrasekhar demanded compensation from Apollo, but they refused. He sued the hospital, the surgeon and the anaesthetist in the Chennai High Court in September 1985 -- and initiated a legal battle that lasted over 10 years. The case was finally settled by the Supreme Court, which awarded Chandrasekhar Rs 19 lakh as compensation in February 1995.