It was just a year ago that 10-year-old Girish Sharma dressed up in crisp police uniform and took charge as the Jaipur Police Commissioner for a day.
As he received a guard of honour and then inspected police stations in the city, his spirit dwarfed his suffering — a chronic kidney ailment that finally claimed his life Monday evening.
He lost the battle against the disease despite his parents and well-wishers’ best efforts to save him. “He was being treated at Medanta, but I didn’t have the money – for six-day admission the bill can go up to Rs 2-2.5 lakh. So, I took him to AIIMS Monday morning. He was there for nearly 12 hours but the doctors in the emergency did not take proper care of him… They said that they have no vacant beds and as his conditioned worsened, they asked us to go to Medanta and we were driven out at about 9 pm Monday. Since, I had no money to admit him in Medanta, we were taking him back to Haryana when he passed away at 10 pm near Dhaula Kuan,” said Girish’s father, Jagdish Sharma.
On April 30 last year, Girish had got his wish to be police commissioner realised thanks to the efforts of Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Rajasthan Police. After a massive outpouring of support over his story, nearly “Rs 30-35 lakh” were spent on improving his condition over the course of a year. He even underwent a kidney transplant about eight months ago.
“The child was being treated at a private facility and had undergone a transplant there, but there were certain complications arising out of the transplant. So when he was brought to the hospital (AIIMS on Monday), a team of pediatric nephrologists led by Prof Arvind Bagga had advised a certain dialysis but the parents were aggressive and did not agree for the particular dialysis.” said Dr Rakesh Lodha, Associate Professor with the Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS. He claimed that the parents ultimately Left Against Medical Advice (LAMA) at around 8 pm Monday.
Jagdish, however, alleged that doctors at AIIMS threatened to call police if he did not leave.
“They just administered glucose to him when I pleaded with them to save him,” he said. The father, who runs a golgappa stall, said several well-wishers, relatives led former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda had contributed to Girish’s treatment.
“I had watched his news on television last year and came to know that he was from Sirsa,” said former Sirsa MLA and minister Gopal Kanda.
“We then located him and helped his family throughout. We arranged money whenever the hospitals asked and about eight months ago, he was given his mother’s kidney…It is sad that despite such support, the hospitals could not save him,” he added.
Dr Vinay Tomar, head of the urology department at Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh Hospital, who had treated Girish last year, said that he was critical even then.
“His was a congenital ailment and it was accentuating as he grew older,” Tomar said.
Girish is survived by his parents, a brother aged 16, and two sisters aged 10 and 15. He was cremated Tuesday morning at his hometown Sirsa.