An ambulance, bearing the license plate KL 60 J 7739, is zipping from Mangaluru to Thiruvananthapuram, hoping to save a 15-day-old infant from Kerala, who needs a heart valve surgery. This journey is being live telecast on Facebook, in the hope that good Samaritans and volunteers will help clear traffic as the ambulance with the family travels for more than 600 kilometers, traversing through almost 12 different districts. Hours later, after Kerala government offered to assist the family, the ambulance was diverted to Kochi, where the baby is undergoing treatement at Amrita hospital.
The Child Protect Team, an NGO that is coordinating the transfer of the child, started the journey from Mangaluru at 11 am on Tuesday. They are hoping to cut short the road journey from 15 hours to 10 hours. The Facebook Live has got more than 8,000 shares and has a good number of live viewers every second.
The baby of Saniya and Mitha, a couple from Kasargode, was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Mangaluru. The team, which is telecasting the journey live on Facebook, is taking the child to Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram.
Child Protect Team MISSION MANGALORE To THRIVANDRUMPosted by Child Protect Team Kerala on Monday, April 15, 2019
Sunil Malikkal of the Child Protect Team says that their teams in 12 districts are coordinating with the people on the ground and the police personnel. "We had done this once two years ago. People check social media a lot and they spread messages they see on social media. So since the route has been announced, people help us a lot," he told TNM.
The child could not be airlifted due to the risk of breathing and pressure variation. Besides, the availability of an air ambulance was low in Mangaluru and moreover the cost could not be covered, Sunil Malikkal added.
Though the journey would have been easier in the night, the doctors at the Mangaluru hospital did not give a go ahead as the child was not stable yet.
The decision to shift the infant to the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute in Thiruvananthapuram was taken as this was recommended by the doctors and moreover, since this was a government hospital, the family would get the best treatment at affordable rates. "The Kerala government has promised to help the child," Sunil told TNM.
Attention to drivers in Kerala.— Advaid (@Advaidism) April 16, 2019
An Ambulance (KL-60 - J 7739) is travelling from Mangalore to Trivandrum with a 15 day old small baby.
The ambulance is headed for Sree Chitra hospital in Tvm. So please make way for that Ambulance.
The ambulance has left Mangalore at 10am. pic.twitter.com/rRF7HF4sc1
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also posted about the same on Facebook, asking everyone to cooperate.
Congress's sitting MP Shashi Tharoor, too, took to social media to spread the message.