Gangrape victim flown to Singapore hospital renowned for transplants

FP

In a last-ditch effort to save her life, doctors on Wednesday night flew the 23-year-old Delhi gangrape victim to Singapore for treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, renowned for conducting multiple transplants.

A private air ambulance with ventilator facility left Delhi airport around 11.10 pm with the woman and nine other passengers, including her parents, Dr Yatin Gupta, the head of Safdarjung Hospital's Critical Care Unit, and a team of doctors.

The woman's siblings followed on a commercial flight.

Sources said the government decided to fly her out on Tuesday afternoon, and Safdarjung Hospital authorities were directed that evening to prepare her to move. For a final opinion, cardiovascular surgeon Dr Naresh Trehan was invited to the hospital on Wednesday morning.

Dr Trehan seconded the view of other surgeons that despite a fresh cardiovascular complication in the wee hours of Wednesday, the woman was stable enough to fly. Besides, a successful intestinal transplant, her only shot at a "complete recovery", has not been performed in India so far.

After hush hush preparations through the day, the woman was finally driven out of the hospital in an ambulance around 10.30 pm. The specialised private Club One air ambulance with the call sign VT ARE was expected to fly her to Singapore in around six hours. The aircraft has a multi-engine turbine that minimises air turbulence, sources said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the government contacted Mount Elizabeth Hospital, which has treated Indian celebrities and politicians earlier. The hospital was intimated them of the woman's case and condition, and a formal arrangement was made for her admission. The ministry of external affairs completed all passport and visa formalities for the family within hours.

A PTI report quoted the woman's father as saying the family had not been told where they were being taken. "We don't know anything. We don't know where we are going. All we have been told is we are going abroad. Me, my wife and the entire family is going with her (the victim)," he said.

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