Dinesh at home.

Dinesh, our Assistant Principal, has been moved from the ICU to his home, where we have arranged support and care for him. He is no longer Covid+, and the hospital feels that there isn’t much more they can do for him that can’t be done at home. If it was up to his family, he would still be in the hospital, but the hospital no longer wants to be responsible for him. His healthcare continues to be a coordinated effort involving Dinesh’s family, Beni (KHEL’s General Manager), Kamli (our City Councilor), our donors, and other management staff who have been advising and giving support. Once classes are back in session (online) the rest of our teachers will take over Dinesh’s classes. Dinesh is not out of the woods yet.

Dinesh was admitted to the hospital on April 29th and discharged on June 25th. He spent most of that time in ICU. At one point he seemed to be doing better and was moved to the general ward. During that time he developed a leak in his lung due to extensive damage from Covid-19. He was immediately moved back to the ICU and a second leak developed. Over time, one leak repaired itself. He still had a drain inserted into his lung when he went home, and that leak has yet to repair itself. He has other Covid related secondary issues. At his home he has a special bed and mattress, a 10 litre oxygen concentrator, 4 back up oxygen cylinders, and full time ICU nurses on a rotating schedule. His home has an electrical back up but it’s not designed for hours or days of operation. As north India heads into monsoon season, it’s common for the electricity to be off for several hours a day, at least. Since the oxygen concentrator will not operate without electricity, we arranged the backup oxygen tanks. In reserve are a 7 litre oxygen concentrator donated to the family by Kamli, and a 5 litre oxygen concentrator donated by a KHEL board member. We hope that has Dinesh improves we can return the rented 10 litre OC and use a smaller one but at the moment he must have the 10 litre version.

KHEL’s portion of Dinesh’s hospital stay was INR6 lakhs (US$8,055/€6,787). For comparison, this is approximately two months of KHEL’s basic running expenses. Overall, the cost for his stay including medication was INR13 lakhs (US$17,448/€14,708). One other non-profit contributed INR1.5 lakhs (US$2,014/€1,697) and the rest was given by Dinesh’s relatives. We are grateful to Kamli for negotiating with the hospital because the final bill was an additional INR4 lakhs (US$4,370/€4,526), which they agreed to write off. Dinesh’s at home care is less expensive than his hospital stay per month, and continues into 2022. He also needs physical therapy due to the long time he’s spent in bed, and he needs to re-learn how to breath on his own. We estimate INR1,25,000 (US$1,1677/€1,414) per month which includes 24/7 ICU nurses, transporting and refilling oxygen tanks, medicines, physical therapy (so that his limbs don’t atrophy), bed and oxygen concentrator rental, and occasional hospital visits.

Dinesh is very weak, but maintains a strong mentality and upbeat attitude, and we hope he continues to improve. KHEL and Dinesh’s family thank you all so much for your prayers and support.