The tortured saga of paralyzed Indian software engineer Manjunath Kalmani has come to an end. He passed away in a New Delhi hospital on Wednesday.
He was paralyzed neck down following an accident six years ago in the US and flown back to India in March last, on the expiry of his visa.
Safdarjung Hospital medical superitendent Jagdish Prasad said, "Kalmani was suffering from septicaemia. His urine output had drastically fallen and his blood pressure was really low. He had three cardiac arrests, but we were able to revive him. But for the fourth time we couldn't revive him. He was on a high antibiotic dose, but was not responding to medication."
Times of India had mounted a major campaign to raise funds for his treatment when he was lying uncared for in hospital.
Even his family in Karnataka would not bother to come over to New Delhi to be by his side, apparently they had lost touch with their son. And anyway they were too poor to travel to the national capital, hundreds of kilometers away.
It was then the Times of India launched a major campaign to raise funds for his treatment and coaxed Kalmani's parents to move to New Delhi to lend him emotional support.
Son of a farmer of Koppal district in Karnataka in southern India, Mnjunath Kalmani was initiatilly working with an American company called weather.com. But when the economy went on a downward spiral, he was laid off.
What would change his life forever, however, was the accident he met with on May Day in 2002.When he was driving back home after a party, Manjunath's car spun out of control and smashed into a tree. The accident left him with a badly injured spine. Following a brain stroke and an emergency operation, Manjunath was paralysed neck down, barely able to move or speak. The last six years of his life were spent on a ventilator.
The media blitz did ensure that he received world class treatment at the New Delhi hospital, but that simply would not do.
Vidyawati, Manjunath's mother who has been in Delhi for the past three months, said,. "He wanted to go to Bangalore and be with his family, friends and relatives. It was the hope to be on a wheelchair again that kept him alive. And till yesterday morning, he kept telling me he wanted to go home."
"He couldn't come home when he was alive, but now I am going to take his body," said a sobbing Vidyawati.