Tests on bridge survivor show brain tumour

KOLKATA: The collapse has left three persons dead and disrupted the lives of thousands of others. It has also turned one life upside down: Ganesh Prasad has been told that he has got a tumour in his brain.

The 26-year-old was one of those injured in the September 4 crash and admitted to SSKM Hospital. He appeared to have minor injuries but, by last week, was the only one who was still in hospital. All the others with far graver wounds were released one by one.

Prasad did not regain consciousness for several days after the crash, “despite an apparently superficial injury”, and then flitted in and out of consciousness. This prompted doctors to recommend a battery of tests — MRI, MR spectroscopy and — at the end of which they came to know the reason: a large tumour in Prasad’s brain. The injury had aggravated his condition, about which Prasad was blissfully unaware, doctors explained.

“We had no inkling that he had a tumour in the brain. He never displayed any symptom that could have alerted us. It is only because of the Majerhat crash that we have come to know about this,” his mother, Meena Prasad Singh, said. Prasad, who is married and has a child, is her only son.

Bridge accident may have aggravated tumour: Docs

Given the kind of superficial injury he had, Ganesh Prasad should not have been unconscious for so long, doctors at the SSKM felt.

“We tried to explore all possible reasons and his family told us he had been complaining of headache for about a week prior to the crash. We went ahead with a battery of tests and found the tumour that was causing the convulsions. The detection of the tumour was incidental,” said Rajat Chowdhury, the doctor in charge of the ITU where Prasad was admitted.

Doctors added that the impact of the accident could have aggravated the tumour.

Prasad was admitted to ITU 3 and was briefly shifted to a ward on Thursday. But he had to be rushed back to the ITU as he fell unconscious soon after. “The patient suffered intra-tumoural bleeding and we had to perform a surgery. A procedure called decompressive craniectomy has been done to remove a part of the skull and make sure that the tumour doesn’t compress his brain. His condition is very serious,” Chowdhury said.

Prasad was returning home by bus when it fell along with the Majerhat bridge deck that caved in on September 4. His family, residents of Kalighat, had no idea that he was injured till late that night. The tumour has come as an even bigger shock.

Doctors say they will have to wait for his condition to stabilise before evaluating a possible operation to remove the tumour; whether it is malignant or benign will be known only after the evaluation and biopsy.

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