As the condition of former President Pranab Mukherjee is still critical after brain surgery, a doctor in West Bengal's Nadia district, who had treated him 13 years ago following a car accident, remembered him as a "calm and composed" patient even in the face of immense pain.
Dr Basudeb Mondal, a gynaecologist and the owner of a nursing home at Krishnagar, recalled the night of April 7, 2007. On that day, while returning to Kolkata from Murshidabad district, Mukherjee's car met with an accident near Nakashipara in Nadia district, he said. A truck collided with the car of Mukherjee, then the external affairs minister, and he received deep head injuries.
He was first taken to a local health centre where he got stitches on his scalp and then was shifted to a government hospital at Krishnagar. "But as the hospital didn't have CT scan and X-ray facilities, I got a call from district administration officials. They asked me to get all the facilities ready as Mukherjee would be shifted to my nursing home," Mondal told PTI over the phone from Kirshnagar.
The then Union minister was shifted to the nursing home under the supervision of a few doctors who came from the SSKM Hospital, a premier state-run facility in Kolkata. "Although Mukherjee was suffering from pain, he was very calm and composed. He was also very humble. We got the tests done and found, fortunately, that there was no internal injury. Later, he was taken to Kolkata that night," he said. Even after he became the President five years later,
Mukherjee didn't forget the doctor. "In 2016, I went to invite him for a programme to observe the bicentenary of the birth of Madan Mohan Tarkalankar (educationist and Sanskrit scholar) at his ancestral home in Birbhum district during the Durga Puja. "He immediately recalled my services and promised me that he would attend the programme. He kept his promise," the80-year-old Mondal said.
The former President underwent life-saving emergency surgery for brain clot on Monday. The 84-year-old, who had also tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the surgery, is on ventilator support at the Army's Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi.