After two years of being in a state of coma, 10-year-old Bengaluru student Rachel Prisha, who sustained head injuries due to a falling tree branch, passed away on Thursday, February 10. Rachel had been in a state of coma for 701 days — since March 11, 2020, which is when a tree branch fell on her head. Rachel had sustained serious injuries in the incident and had been receiving treatment in hospital since then. She passed away on Thursday, a statement by the hospital said.
On March 11, 2020, Rachel was going to school with her father on a two-wheeler when suddenly a dry tree branch fell on her head at TC Palya main road in the city. The branch fell off a tree that was supposed to have been cleared by the Bengaluru civic body — the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Severely injured, Rachel was rushed to Manipal hospital, where she remained admitted for the next two years.
In a statement, Manipal hospital said that she was brought to the hospital in a critical condition and was admitted to the paediatric ICU. During treatment, she underwent intensive neurorehabilitation treatment, the hospital said. “Even with the best of the care, her recovery was very poor and she continued to be in a persistent vegetative state. She was completely dependent on caregivers for all her activities of daily living,” the hospital added in a statement.
“Her stay in the hospital was complicated by multiple episodes of severe sepsis and repeated ICU admissions. She recently developed a severe chest infection and sepsis. Ms Rachael Prischa succumbed to the infection on 10.02.22,” the statement by the hospital added.
Rachel’s parents had, at the time, said that this would not have happened if the BBMP had cleared the tree on time. After the incident in 2020, an FIR was filed by the Bengaluru police against BBMP officials. However, since the BBMP offered to pay for the child’s treatment, they did not press charges for police action. Now, the police are likely to modify the FIR and add charges of death by negligence.
On Thursday, after Rachel’s death, Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy visited the hospital and paid his condolences to the bereaved family. "Am really pained by Rachael's demise. Had visited her earlier and spent time with her. I was hoping that she would recover. I am unable to bear Rachel's passing away after such a long battle between life and death. BBMP should stop this kind of tragedies at least in future," Kumaraswamy tweeted.
Actor Kichcha Sudeep, whom Rachael Prisha was reportedly an ardent fan of, had spoken to her and wished for her speedy recovery. The incident has drawn sharp reactions from the public and the BBMP is being slammed for its negligence on social platforms.
With IANS inputs