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Carelessly opened car door puts man in coma

Bangalore Bureau
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Family struggling to pay for prolonged treatment

23-year-old Sultan Khan, who is being treated at the Sita Bhateja hospital, has been in coma for a month now.—Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
23-year-old Sultan Khan, who is being treated at the Sita Bhateja hospital, has been in coma for a month now.—Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

How many of us have stopped our car on the road and opened the door without a care for traffic? The story of 23-year-old Sultan Khan should be a warning for those of us who do.

A resident of R.T. Nagar and father of a two-month-old girl, Mr. Khan was returning home on June 17 after a job interview, when he rammed into a car door opened carelessly by the driver of a small utility vehicle on Shivajinagar Main Road.

He was thrown off his motorcycle, and hit his head on the footpath. A month later, he is still in coma, and his family has had to run from pillar to post to arrange for funds for his prolonged medical treatment.

Cheque bounces

Mr. Khan’s medical expenses have crossed Rs. 4.5 lakh. “Apart from taking loans, his wife of two years has sold all her jewellery. We are still short of funds,” said his brother, Saleem, an autorickshaw driver.

The driver of the car, Sheikh Mohammed, promised to bear his expenses. “He issued a cheque for Rs. 1 lakh in the hospital’s name, but it bounced,” Mr. Saleem said.

The Shivajinagar traffic police have booked Sheikh Mohammed for causing grievous injuries through negligence and are investigating.

“We have taken action against the driver as per law, but we cannot force him to pay for medical expenses,” a policeman said.

It’s looking bleak

On that fateful afternoon, the police said, the five occupants of the car sped away without helping. Three passersby, with the help of the traffic police, rushed Mr. Khan to Bowring hospital and then NIMHANS. However, both hospitals did not have ventilator facility, thus requiring him to be shifted to Sita Bhateja hospital, nearly two hours after the accident.

Mr. Khan, who was initially in intensive care, has now been moved to the general ward. According to Arvind Bhateja, medical director of the hospital: “Chances of the patient’s recovery are very slim. [He] has suffered severe brain injury and is comatose.”

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