Mom visiting Canada develops life-threatening infection and family is desperate for help

Jun 2 2023, 7:29 pm

A mom visiting her son in Canada is facing a shocking medical diagnosis and mounting medical bills with no way to pay them.

Ashish Bhatnagar’s mom, Meenakshi, is an Indian citizen who came to Canada to visit her family from London. She’s been in the Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Critical Care Unit in BC since April 21, after contracting a severe bacterial infection that lead to devastating consequences for her health.

According to her son’s social media posts and GoFundMe page., the bacterial infection led to blood poisoning and Meenakshi was in a coma for two weeks while experiencing low blood pressure and organ failure.


Meenakshi with her family/Supplied

“Unfortunately, as a consequence of the prolonged low blood pressure and strong medication, she suffered from the loss of blood supply to all 20 fingers/toes and feet,” reads the GoFundMe page. Meenakshi will need to have her limbs amputated to prevent more infections and complications. As of June 6, she’s already had both legs and all her fingers amputated.

As a visitor, Meenakshi’s medical care is not covered under Canada’s health care. Travel medical insurance coverage of $150,000 from a Canadian company has “already been exhausted,” according to her son.

Since the coma, Meenakshi has become immobile and she is fighting numerous infections while on dialysis. “As a cancer survivor, with all these complications her recovery will be a long and arduous journey, involving… nursing care, surgeries, possible prosthetics, rehabilitation and occupational therapies,” wrote her son.

Now, they’re turning to the community for support. “I wish people understood that it’s not a case of carelessness and rather it’s accidental and doctors say it happens quite often,” said her son.

“While her general condition has slightly stabilized, now she has to undergo life-altering, surgeries for amputation of all her limbs, which will mean her needing long-term 24×7 support,” her son wrote on social media.

“Compassionate, kind, giving and eternally positive, our mother has been a bright light to so many,” said Ashish. “She contributed to society through her long career as a teacher and social worker. She is the source of strength and energy to our entire family.”

You can learn more and donate to support the family via the GoFundMe page.

The money they are raising is a conservative rough estimate based on the per day cost of $11,600 in ICU for more than 20 days and $4,500 per day in CCU for more than 20 days. She also had two major surgeries.

Moving forward, she will require “alternative day dialysis, long-term prosthetics, another surgery to help make her remaining hands somewhat functional and rehabilitation, physio, xrays, tests etc.”

“I strongly believe, this amount may also not be enough, but let’s see,” said her son.

Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

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