MUMBAI : A 9 year old tribal boy from Palghar who was bitten by a huge Krait snake is now recovering in the Civil Hospital, Silvassa, thanks to the timely help of two persons, including a journalist of a reputed Marathi daily (Lokmat) on Saturday. 

Vinit Gadakh (9 pictured) a Std IV student of a Zilla Parishad school in Devkhop village,Palghar was bitten by a huge Krait snake while he was playing with friends after school on Saturday afternoon. He was bitten on the right leg and Vinit did not feel the bite, but a few hours later, his leg got swollen and was rushed to the government hospital at Palghar by his grand mother, Laxmi. 

The boy had received a neurotoxic snake bite and his condition was very serious,said Dr Dinkar Gavit, Chief Medical Superintendent, Palghar.We administered 10 vials of the antidote, but Vinit was sinking, he said. We told Laxmi to shift the boy to a hospital,where there was paediatric ventilator facility, as there is no such facility in any of the Palghar hospitals,said the medico. Worse, the government ambulance "108" was on another call of duty, and the nearest government ambulance was only available at Somta,in Dahanu, and that too it would take an hour to reach Palghar,and the boy could not have sustained that long,said Dr Gavit. Due to the poison, the boy had developed pulmonary edema, where the lungs were filled with fluid and he was also vomitting profusely, so we had to take an emergency decision of shifting him to a big hospital,said Dr Gavit. The boy was bitten by a Krait snake as this is commonly sighted in the hamlets of Palghar during this time of the season,said Dr Gavit.

Laxmi, who did odd jobs, had a mere Rs 400 in her hand, and was helpless to transfer her grandson to a Mumbai hospital,due to the high charges. Just then, Hitendra Naik, a journalist from newspaper Lokmat,Mumbai was in the hospital to cover a story,when he heard Laxmi's plight from the medico. Another social activist, Vikas More,who was also  with Naik, too heard about the boy's condition and decided to act fast.

Without thinking twice they hailed a private ambulance and transported the patient to Civil Hospital, Silvassa, which is a two hour drive from Palghar. The boy could have been admitted in a Mumbai hospital, but due to the traffic snarls on the highway, there would have been an inordinate delay, costing his life,said Naik. So we decided the Silvassa government hospital,he said, and he also  called the Silvassa hospital, to make a bed available and start  treatment as soon as Vinit reached the hospital. 

Meanwhile, Naik went to a factory in Nandore,where Sunita, mother of Vinit worked as a helper and informed her about the condition and she also panicked. A few minutes later, the private ambulance stopped at the factory and the patient,alongwith Sunita and Laxmi departed for Silvassa.

The boy is responding to treatment and is out of danger, and will be discharged in a day or two,said a doctor of the Silvassa civil hospital. But thanks to the two men, who rendered timely help in providing the private ambulance, Vinit's life was saved. Vinit's father died a few years ago, and his mother Sunita  worked in a factory to make both ends meet and also to educate her only son, Vinit. 

Dr Gavit said the government will reimburse the amount spent by the duo as per government policy as it was an emergency, but due to their efforts the boy was saved from a certain death, as emergency treatment is essential in case of snake bites, and the boy being young, the poison spreads fast in the central nervous system and finally affects the brain and other vital organs, leading to death,said Dr Gavit.