The patient was administered plasma on Saturday
The patient was administered plasma on Saturday|Representational image
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Assam: How a 480-km car relay was completed in 1 night to deliver plasma

Members of Marwari Yuva Manch (MYM) help deliver icebox carrying blood plasma from GMCH to AMCH in Dibrugarh

Bitopan Deka

Guwahati: Blood plasma got delivered from Guwahati to Dibrugarh in a one-of-its-kind super speed car relay spread across 450 km in 8 hours to save the life of a health worker who contracted the virus and is undergoing treatment at Assam Medical College Hospital (AMCH) at Dibrugarh.

An urgent requirement for blood plasma arose at AMCH on Friday evening where Bijurani Gogoi, a staff nurse at the AMCH, was infected by the coronavirus while carrying out her duties. She was admitted in ICU for her fight against the virus. However, the plasma bank at AMCH along with the nearest bank in Jorhat Medical College Hospital was marred with empty shelves.

A call was made to Bhaskar Papukon Gogoi, a physician and social worker based in Dibrugarh, to help out the ailing nurse battling for life. Dr Gogoi has been running a plasma donation campaign in Dibrugarh which has helped quite a few patients earlier. He was able to arrange one unit of plasma at Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) but the bigger challenge was to bridge the gap between the two institutes, which is spanned over 480 km.

Dr Gogoi decided to approach the Dibrugarh unit of the Marwari Yuva Manch (MYM), a youth volunteer organisation with members from the Marwari community spread across all over India. Dr Gogoi had previously organised a plasma donation campaign at Dibrugarh with assistance from MYM.

The obstacles were aplenty; inter district commute in Assam is restricted, night curfew from 6 pm to 6 am and the subsequent lockdown on weekends. Members of MYM decided to reach out to every unit of their organisation located between Guwahati to Dibrugarh. Each district unit, starting from Guwahati will carry the blood plasma to the district border and then hand it over to the unit of the adjoining district and so on and so forth till it reaches Dibrugarh. This entire exercise was tracked over constant phone calls among different district units.

The icebox carrying blood plasma was collected from Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) at 10.35 pm on Friday night by the Guwahati unit of the voluntary organisation and made their run towards Nagaon border where the Nagaon team was waiting to receive it. From Nagaon the box changed hands in Bokakhat. It became a game of passing the parcel. The parcel then passed on to Jorhat, from there to Sivasagar and then Moran and the music stopped finally at Dibrugarh at 6:14 am on Saturday morning.

Dr Gogoi was there to receive it with the Dibrugarh team. It was one of the most memorable nights for him and the members of the youth organisation whose ingenuity in walking over a rocky road to help save a life.

Subsequently, Bijurani Gogoi was administered plasma on Saturday.

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