COVID-19 survivors’ tales | With grit, gumption and abiding hope Telanagana government official emerges as a warrior


It was battle for survival for this gutsy official, who triumphed at the end to emerge a warrior.

It was nothing short of a miracle for 57-year-old Krupa Swaroopa Rani, District Welfare Officer, Women Development and Child Welfare department in Telangana Government, who came back from the jaws of death after fighting COVID-19 for almost a month in a corporate hospital in Secunderabad.

It was battle for survival for this gutsy official, who triumphed at the end to emerge a warrior. A family gathering in January she had attended is said to be the source of the infection.

For Ms. Swaroopa’s 29-year-old son Joseph Rohith Wood, an analyst with an MNC in Hyderabad, it was a repeat of yet another episode of trauma having to see his mother being almost snatched away by the dreaded COVID-19. His father passed away three years ago. “It all started off with mild fever and cough but after three days, my mother’s saturation levels started dipping. She had a tough time breathing freely. Suddenly, one night, her saturation levels fell below 90 and I used a Nebuliser to bring back the saturation level to normal,” he recalled.

With little improvement, Ms. Swaroopa was rushed to a corporate hospital in Secunderabad where an HRTCT Scan revealed severe lung infection. “On doctor’s advice, we admitted her in the hospital. On the third day, her condition worsened with a sharp decline in her saturation levels. Her BP and sugar levels fell alarmingly, prompting the doctors to wheel her into the COVID-19 ICU to revive her,” Mr. Rohith said.

More trouble was in store for the son, who himself had mild COVID-19. Doctors asked to arrange for a plasma donor. “Finding a plasma donor for my mother’s blood group — Bombay Blood Group — a rare phenotype blood group found in four per million of the world population was a Herculean Task. After two days of search, we gave up the efforts ,” he said.

With Ms. Swaroopa’s condition becoming a cause of concern, she was put on a ventilator. “My heartbeat slipped for a second when the doctors told us to be prepared for any eventuality as her condition was critical,” said Mr. Rohith. “I used to hang around in the hospital praying for my mother’s miraculous recovery. My sister Rachel Pranitha Wood, who works for a global pharma company in Ohio, U.S. rushed back to Hyderabad on hearing her mom’s worsening health condition,” he pointed out.

For almost a month the brother-sister duo took turns to take care of their mother. “On February 9, my mother was discharged from the hospital after spending one month in hospital with 15 days alone in ICU. Today is May 9 and almost three months after the discharge, she is still struggling to be normal. The family ran a bill of ₹22.5 lakh for the treatment,” Ms. Rachel told The Hindu.

Ms. Swaroopa, post-COVID-19 recovery, needs help from an attendant to do her day-to-day work. “While I was in the hospital, I did not realise the gravity of the situation. But once I started recovering I became emotional and used to cry. My only prayer to God was to take care of my children in my absence. A lesson that I learned is never to neglect any ailment. Early diagnosis and proper healthcare with strong willpower will ensure you can come out unscathed with the near encounter with death,” Ms. Swaroopa told The Hindu on Sunday.

She credits the doctors of the corporate hospital, who worked overtime to see she overcame the health challenges. In particular, she says she is indebted to MS. D. Divya, IAS, Commissioner, Women Development and Child Welfare department, who was in constant touch with hospital authorities monitoring her condition.

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