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33 surgeries, 110 transfusions, skin from friends script Nabha man’s survival story

It was early on Oct 2005, Jainendar had gone to bathroom, it a cigarette,which led to a fire.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
February 23, 2015 12:00:46 am
Jainendar Kumar Bhateja with his family. (Source: Express Photo) Jainendar Kumar Bhateja with his family. (Source: Express Photo)

When 31-year-old Nabha resident Jainendar Kumar Bhateja taps his feet to music, it is difficult to imagine that 10 years ago he suffered 90 per cent burns. Though doctors did not expect him to survive, 33 reconstructive surgeries, 110 blood transfusions, seven friends who were his skin donors and his father’s will power ensured that he survived. Jainendar got married five years back and has a two-year-old son.

Jainendar was was invited to honour Dr J L Gupta — a senior plastic surgeon — at a dinner meet of the National Burns conference organised by National Academy of Burns India (NABI) on Friday evening.

It was early on October 8, 2005, that Jainendar had gone to the bathroom and lit a cigarette, which led to a fire owing to a gas geyser inside leaking. His body, except the face, was on fire.


Jainendar himself came out and extinguished the flames using towels and blankets before going to his parents. He was rushed from a local hospital to Ludhiana’s Sutlej hospital where he was found to have suffered 90 per cent burns.

Dr Ravinder Tah, NABI president, and the doctor who treated him said, “We had almost given up hope, but his father was so optimistic that we continued treatment. It is indeed a miracle. It happened because of his seven school friends who were skin donors.”

Skin grafting was started after about three weeks. Jainendar said, “Deepak, Kamal, Rahul, Amit, another Deepak and two others donated their skin that was grafted on my body.” Dr Tah said, “This skin helped temporarily till it was accepted by the body. It helped cover the body and prevent infections. During the seven months he stayed in hospital, Jainendar suffered chest perforations, pneumonia, his urethra was burnt and scrotum infected, but we dealt with it. He had to be put on a ventilator too.”

Jainendar is now looking after the family business of transport and fertilizers. He lost his father in an accident when the family was going to a temple after his recovery. Jainender said, “I am living a life given by my father and doctors.”

According to Dr Tah, skin donors can save a lot of burn patients but there are hardly any skin banks in India.

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