We have read and sometimes have also witnessed numerous inspiring stories of doctors saving lives during the pandemic. But, not very often do we come across people like Dr. Gopa Ambuj Singh – a doctor who chooses to stay by his patients until they are cured. An alumnus of Naga Ji Saraswati Vidya Mandir, Maldepur, Ballia, Dr. Singh is nothing less than a messiah to his patients and their families.
After completing his 12 from the Vidya Bharati School, he moved to Delhi to prepare for All India PMT, which he cracked on his very first attempt. He then joined the Bankura Sammilani Medical College and Hospital, West Bengal to complete his MBBS. He came back to Delhi again for his MD examination and got selected in NEET PG. The young doctor completed his MD course in Medicine from Maharani Laxmi Bai Medical College, Jhansi, where he currently works as a Senior Resident.
The turning point of his life was when he took admission in the Vidya Bharati School in class 9. “I owe everything to my school to where I have reached today. I am very thankful to Shri Vijay Shankar Pandey ji, our Principal, Shri Manoj Asthana ji, our Biology Teacher, Shri Rajesh Pandey ji, our Physics Teacher, and last but not the least, Shri Ramji Singh ji, our History Teacher. They not only taught us but showed us how to live life, how to help the society”, said Dr. Singh showing his gratitude towards his school.
Dr. Singh obtained highest marks in his MD and thus received a Gold Medal in the PL Ghai Award. Soon after finishing his MD he joined duty to serve the people. It wasn’t too late that the country was badly hit by the deadly Coronavirus. Braving his life he continued to treat patients and help them fight the fatal virus. Since last year Dr. Singh had been on Covid duty for over one hundred and twenty days.
“The highest burden of Covid patients has been on medicine doctors and anesthesia doctors. Since Maharani Laxmi Bai Medical College is a government hospital, we have seen a large number of Covid patients getting admitted here daily”, shared Dr. Singh.
Most of the patients Dr. Singh had treated were in a very critical state. For many, survival almost seemed impossible. “So many of the patients stayed in our hospital for more than 45 days before they were cured and discharged”, recalls the young doctor.
While during the first wave the challenges for most of the doctors was to understand what type of treatment to offer, the second wave witnessed a higher mortality rate, in spite of that understanding. Teamwork certainly plays a very crucial role during the time of any crisis. “We worked as a team and were able to take most of the patients outside the danger zone”, shared Dr. Singh. He further recollects that he received many patients with low oxygen saturation levels. “One of the patients got admitted to our hospital with oxygen saturation below 35. She was immediately taken to the ICU and was kept under constant monitoring. She recovered and was discharged after more than 50 days”, shared Dr. Singh.
One of the biggest challenges for all the medical staff had been working for longer shifts wearing the PPE kit. The duty for Dr. Singh would be 8 hours at a stretch. He would be packed completely in his PPE kit – unable to open its zip, drink water or use the washroom. He would continue to treat his patients, although he would get drenched in sweat and sometimes gasp for fresh air. “At the end of the day when a patient recovered it gave us so much satisfaction that every pain, every discomfort would vanish. Everything would vanish from the mind only a joy of satisfaction remains”, said Dr. Singh with a smile.
So far Dr. Singh has treated and cured over a 1000 Covid patients. “The situation was like a war zone both during the first and the second waves. Only that our weapons are the medical care and prayer of hundreds and thousands of people, and the enemy is invisible”, said Dr. Singh.
Dr. Singh cautions that Covid is an RNA virus so it keeps on mutating. There are many strains of the virus. The one in the first wave and second wave was called delta virus, which has now mutated a bit and has been named as Delta Plus variant. Delta Plus is slightly different from its parent virus which was sequenced in India – it is more virulent than delta, beta or theta viruses.
“There is no effective treatment for coronavirus. All we doctors can do is offer supportive treatment to cure the patients. We can give oxygen, steroids and blood thinners”, shared Dr. Singh.
The number of new Covid cases in Jhansi and also most parts of India is gradually going down. Although the situation at present seems under control, Dr. Singh urges people to not take things lightly. “
Apart from curing his patients he is also associated with Agniva Foundation, an NGO named after one of his batch mates who died of tuberculosis and another NGO in Ballia that offers one time food for homeless people.
If you are Vidya Bharati alumni and associated with any kind of social work, kindly fill your details at https://www.vidyabharatialumni.org/social-service-survey