A UK-trained lawyer, Akhil Ennamsetty, returned to Hyderabad in March this year. This 24-year-old who is pursuing LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Edinburgh ensured to take all necessary precautions upon his arrival in India and hadn’t even met his family until he had promptly undergone COVID-19 testing. To his shock, he was tested positive turning out to be the ‘P16’ of Telangana State and the first patient from his home-district Warangal.
During his isolation period at the Hospital, he saw the news channels showing a random dead body and describing it as a patient in the same ward as his, who was still fighting the virus. “It was disheartening and appalling; they could have conveyed the story after the verification & without the use of catchy words to increase their TRP,” Akhil described his experience of watching news coverage on COVID-19 patients.
Post his recovery he was looking for an opportunity to help others.
It was when Gandhi Hospital began with convalescent plasma trials, he seems to have got the opportunity he was looking for. Akhil became the first plasma donor from Telangana saving three critically ill patients by transfusing the plasma donated by him. Moreover, Akhil encouraged his survivor friends to also contribute in whatever way they can.
Soon, Akhil, along with his colleague in the UK, started a website to provide counseling service to the victims of the virus & provide logistical and necessary living support to the stranded Indian students and workers abroad and helped the repatriation process. With two other friends of his from the United States, he is now successfully running a web portal that provides donor information to the patients’ families regarding the convalescent plasma therapy, the only hopeful treatment available for the critical patients as of today.
Akhil also observed something in the process. He observed a stigma that came along with the virus. “My quarantine friend says his neighbors still don’t talk to his family.”
During these trying times, Akhil found everyone in his social circles to be supportive. Nobody tried to look at him feebly, “My boldness has overpowered their stigma,” he said. But he didn’t want to stop there. Akhil, the Corona Champion continues to educate people more about fighting the battle mentally than physically. Because we are not alone. We are millions against one virus.
- Written by Rakhi Vishwakarma