Legendary cardio specialist Dr Sivaramakrishna Iyer Padmavati dies of Covid-19 at 103

Pioneering cardiologist Dr Sivaramakrishna Iyer Padmavati, who had established the country’s first cardiac care unit at Delhi’s Govind Ballabh Pant hospital, died of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) late Saturday night. She was 103.

Born in Myanmar, she fled to India after the Japanese invasion during World War II and became the country’s first woman cardiologist.

She was diagnosed with Covid-19 11 days ago and was admitted to the National Heart Institute (NHI), which she had founded in 1981.

“Although on oxygen, she was fairly stable till Saturday morning when there was an acute drop in the oxygen saturation. She had to be put on a ventilator and passed away at night. Even though her body had given up on her – she was wheelchair bound for the last five years – she was mentally very sharp and put us to shame. She remembered who had inaugurated our centre and other information,” said Dr OP Yadav, chief cardiac surgeon and CEO of NHI.

Popularly referred to as the ‘Godmother of cardiology’, she is known for her extensive research on rheumatic heart disease, a condition that permanently damages the heart valves when infections such as strep throat or scarlet fever are left untreated or undertreated.

Those who have interacted with her talk of her mental acuity.

“I met her four years ago, when our department completed 50 years of establishment. We decided to honour her. At the time, she said she just wants a boy – she meant a young cardiologist – who could help her out for a couple of hours each afternoon. When we asked, she said she needed to do more research work. At the time, she was just shy of a 100 years,” said Dr Vijay Trehan, professor of cardiology at GB Pant hospital, where she established India’s first speciality course in cardiology.

Padmavati did her MBBS from Rangoon Medical College and trained at Sodersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm, John Hopkins and Harvard Medical School in USA. She was a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and has received the India’s civilian awards Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.

Source : Hindustan Times

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