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Kaushik critical, hope rests on life-saving drug


Former Indian hockey coach and Dronacharya awardee Maharaj Kishen Kaushik’s condition has deteriorated and is now critical. He has been kept under observation at a hospital here but doctors are not too hopeful.

Kaushik had been admitted with pneumonia-infected lungs after developing COVID-like symptoms but testing negative for the same on April 17. His blood Oxygen level kept fluctuating, going down to as much as 50 at night.

However, with his body not responding to any medication, doctors at the multi-speciality hospital decided to give him a life-saving drug which was expected to show results within 24 hours.

“That period got over this afternoon but there has been no change in the situation. However, other doctors in our acquaintance have said that it can sometimes also take up to three days to start showing results. That is our big hope at the moment,” his son Eshan said.

He continues to be under observation but doctors have warned that if the drug — costing upwards of ₹4 lakhs — doesn’t work, his body might collapse completely.

He added that Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju had been helpful in making arrangements at a bigger hospital but proper care and facilities at the current set-up, accompanied by his delicate condition, made them decide to stay put.

“Moving him in this condition was not advised. Also, the doctors made it clear that the line of treatment would be the same elsewhere also, so it did not matter,” he explained.

The 66-year old Kaushik has been one of the most decorated hockey coaches in the country for both the national men’s and women’s teams. A member of the 1980 Olympics winning team, he coached the men to gold at the 1998 Asian Games after a gap of 32 years and the women to bronze at the Doha Asian Games in 2006. He was given the Arjuna Award in 1998 and the Dronacharya in 2002. He had recently retired from Khelo India.

Ravinder Pal critical

Meanwhile, his 1980 Olympics teammate Ravinder Pal Singh too remains critical in a Lucknow hospital.

Ravinder Pal has been in ICU with severe COVID symptoms since April 24 and his family has been struggling with ballooning expenses.

Earlier in the day, Hockey India had approved ₹5 lakh each for both players as support.

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