While the situation forced even Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to cancel her visit there, it didn't deter a group of doctors and their supporting staff from discharging their duties.
Three doctors and four supporting staff, including two nurses, swam nearly half-a-kilometre to reach the general hospital in Udaynarayanpur on Wednesday to operate upon a patient who was in a serious condition.
Tarak Das, who operated upon the patient, said, "The patient was bleeding from the uterus and needed urgent operation. We had no other alternative but to swim to reach the hospital."
"There were other problems as well. The current was high and we are not good swimmers, so naturally we had to be very cautious while moving through the water. Two girls got drowned in the water a couple of days ago. There was also the fear of snake bite as most of the areas were under water, increasing the possibility of poisonous snakes lurking around," said one of the doctors.
According to hospital sources, 48-year-old Dipali Malik was admitted there on Monday evening when she was bleeding profusely.
"His family members informed us that she was bleeding for the last one month. Initially, we thought it to be an internal wound and started treatment accordingly. But when her test reports came, we found that there was a huge tumour inside her uterus which was causing all the problems," said another doctor from the team.
On Wednesday, the tumour wighing nearly 500 gm was surgically removed from the uterus after an hour-long surgery.
Apart from the three doctors -- surgeons Tarak Das, Prabhas Das and anaesthetist Ashok Khara -- two nurses and other support staff were also present in the operation theatre, all of whom had to brave the current to shoulder the responsibility of saving a life.
"The procedure is called hysterectomy, where the uterus is removed through an operation. As a result of the operation, the patient cannot conceive. However, in this case, the patient had already reached the menopause cycle, so the question of conceiving didn't arise," Tarak Das said.
When asked if the team received any accolades for its deed, Tarak Das said, "I have been working in government facilities for the last 20 years and I have never worked for any kind of award of accolade. I am happy that the patient is well and safe. We are taking care to ensure that she doesn't develop any infection. Once she goes back home safely, that will be our biggest award."
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