Eminent orthopaedic surgeon Dr Shekhar Agarwal succumbs to COVID
Dr Agarwal had been working for nearly 35 years in the field of orthopaedics, of which 10 years were spent in England.
New Delhi: "Dear Dr Shekhar Agarwal, without you around, things have not been so joyful and wonderful. You make a difference like no one else," reads one of the testimonials on Sant Parmanand Hospital's website about its executive director and vice president.
Dr Agarwal, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon, succumbed to coronavirus on May 10. He was associated with the hospital ever since its inception in 1997.
Another testimonial for Dr Agarwal stated that he gave a "personal touch" to his work.
One of his patients has called him the "gold standard" in his field.
Words like "kind", "cooperative" and "incredible" have been used for Dr Agarwal by his patients.
"He was a very pleasant person, an excellent doctor, a renowned orthopaedic and a workaholic. He just had about every quality any head should have. He was loved by his staff and patients. I have known him for more than 20 years. We were colleagues and friends. It feels like a personal loss," said Dr Sagar Rajagopal, executive director of the hospital in Civil Lines.
Dr Agarwal had probably contracted the virus at the hospital around 10-15 days ago and was admitted to the medical facility. He developed other complications and could not make it, said his colleague. He did not have any major comorbidity.
Agarwal's wife was also infected and was admitted to the hospital but was recently discharged.
"We will miss him immensely and he will always be remembered very fondly. It is very painful and tragic. We are trying to get over it. It will take a lot of time. A lot of doctors and nurses have been infected by the virus at our hospital but this is the first major tragedy," Dr Rajagopal added.
According to the website, Dr Agarwal had been working for nearly 35 years in the field of orthopaedics, of which 10 years were spent in England; two years in Teaching Hospitals in Liverpool and one year in a highly specialised hip surgery centre at Wrightington Hospital.
He had been performing knee replacement and hip replacement surgery for the last 25 years in India.
He was among the first few surgeons who pioneered joint replacement surgery in India, the website stated.
Dr Agarwal was a visiting professor at the prestigious Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University and was the vice president of Indian Society of Hip and Knee Surgeons (ISKHS) in which he was a founding member.
He also maintained a bone bank to preserve fresh frozen allografts used for difficult surgeries where deficient bone needs to be replaced.