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‘I’ve lived my life’: 85-year-old with COVID gives up hospital bed for younger patient, dies at home

An 85-year-old COVID-19 patient, who voluntarily gave up his hospital bed in Nagpur to a younger patient on Saturday saying “I have lived my life”, died at his home on Tuesday.

Narayan Dabhalkar was admitted to the Indira Gandhi government hospital in Nagpur after he tested positive a few days ago. 

After much effort, he got a bed. It was then that he saw a woman looking for a bed to save her 40-year-old COVID-infected husband. The hospital authorities refused to admit him because there were no empty beds. Later, Dabhalkar saw her in tears and decided to vacate his bed for her husband. 

While giving up his bed, he reportedly said, “I am 85. I have lived my life. Saving the life of a young man is more important. Their children are young…please give my bed to them.” 

The hospital administration asked him for a statement in writing. He wrote: “I am voluntarily emptying my bed for another patient.”

Despite dipping oxygen levels, Dabhalkar went against the medical advice of the doctors and opted for a discharge.

“We rushed him to IGR when his oxygen levels dipped on April 22. We got a bed after great effort but he was back home in a couple of hours. My father said he would prefer to spend his last moments with us. He also told us about a young patient,” Dabhalkar’s daughter was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan praised Narayan Dabhalkar for the noble act. Posting his picture on Twitter, he wrote, “I am 85 years old, have seen life, but if that woman’s husband dies then the children will be orphaned. So, it’s my duty to save him. After saying this, Shri Narayan Ji, an RSS volunteer, gave his bed to that patient.”

“Our entire family is down with Covid. On April 16, we got his samples tested and the results came on April 19. The treatment continued at home,” said Dabhalkar’s daughter Aasawari Kothiwan.


However, when his oxygen level dipped on April 22, we rushed him to IGR. “We got a bed after great effort, but he was back home in a couple of hours,” she said, adding, “Even doctors said that he was in a critical state.”
“My father said he would prefer to spend his last moments with us rather than the hospital. He also told us about the young patient. ‘I have already lived my life and would rather leave it to fate instead of blocking a bed for two-three days at the cost of a younger patient’,” said Aasawari.


“The last moments were painful. His nails turned black and limbs had become numb. He died after having a few morsels from my hand,” she said.

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