Mumbai MRI death: Kin want dead man's finger for last rites

Updated: Feb 02, 2018, 12:25 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty and Anurag Kamble

While the patient who was in the MRI machine also succumbed to her injuries, family of Rajesh Maru is still waiting for his severed finger

Rajesh Maru
Rajesh Maru 

Three days since the death of Lalbaug resident Rajesh Maru, 32, who died after getting pulled into an MRI machine at Nair hospital and inhaling liquid oxygen, the family is still waiting for his severed finger, which remains attached to the machine along with the oxygen cylinder he had been holding at the time of the accident. And in this moment of grief, another tragedy has struck the bereaved family — Laxmi Solanki, 65, mother-in-law of Maru's sister for whose treatment he was at the hospital that day, has succumbed to her illness.

Also read - Mumbai MRI death: Philips team to inspect machine in Nair Hospital

"As per our rituals, when a person dies, we need to burn the entire body with all parts intact. But his finger is still in the machine. Even after repeated pleas, hospital authorities haven't handed it over to us. His last rites have been performed, but the fact that the finger remains is upsetting us. We want to burn it as per the rituals to ensure peace to his soul," said Maru's brother-in-law Harish.

Rajesh Maru's sister grieves after learning about his death
Rajesh Maru's sister grieves after learning about his death

Trying to cope with another blow by his mother's passing, he added, "We had admitted her (Laxmi) in a private hospital, where her fever came under control. But when it rose again, on January 26, we brought her to Nair hospital. Later, we were told that her vomit had got mixed with her blood and spread in her body." "Granny had a fever since the start of January. We had admitted her in Noor Hospital, Pydhonie. After undergoing treatment there for 10 days, we took her home on January 25. But the next morning, her fever rose to 140 degrees. We then took her to Nair hospital," said Priyanka Solanki.

Laxmi Solanki, who passed away in the wee hours of Tuesday
Laxmi Solanki, who passed away in the wee hours of Tuesday

She added that Laxmi had started responding to commands and was in a semi-conscious state while being taken for an MRI. "She must have heard the tragedy unfolding in the MRI room, because she became unconscious after the incident and didn't recover. Doctors told us there was a viral infection in her brain." Harish said, "We were struggling to accept Rajesh's passing, when early on Tuesday, my mother passed away. The entire family is in shock."

Rajesh Maru's last rites
Rajesh Maru's last rites

Gross negligence
It was Laxmi that Maru and Harish had been escorting to the MRI room on January 27, as per doctor's orders, for a scan. Maru had been carrying her oxygen cylinder, which the hospital staff allegedly asked him to take along inside the room, even after he expressed apprehension over taking a metal object inside. The staff told him not to worry and go in, but the minute he stepped inside, the machine pulled him, trapping his hand holding the cylinder. His finger broke during the attempts made to free him.

32-year-old's mother is in shock
32-year-old's mother is in shock

However, friends of Dr Saurabh Lanjrekar, who was among the three arrested for negligence, said he had viral fever and had been doing overtime when the incident happened. "He was unwell but kept working. When the incident happened, he had clocked in 48 hours of non-stop work," said a friend, adding that Dr Lanjrekar had told Maru to keep the oxygen cylinder outside, and that it had been the ward boy who had been careless and asked him to carry it along.

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