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Her euthanasia pleas ignored, slum girl loses battle to cancer

Jan 17 2012, 17:11 IST
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SummaryAlka, who had been suffering from aplastic anaemia blood cancer since 2002, passed away last night.

Blood cancer patient Alka Tiwari, who had grabbed headlines after appealing to a court in Kanpur to either ask the government to bear her medical expenses or allow euthanasia, has died.

21-year-old Alka, who had been suffering from aplastic anaemia blood cancer since 2002, died at the Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore on Monday, her brother Brijesh Tiwari said today.

Moved by the slum dweller's plight, several local residents, politicians and social organisations had come forward to provide financial assistance to her.

“She had undergone a successful bone marrow transplant on December 15 and was expected to be discharged from the hospital in the last week of January,” Brijesh said.

“She was recuperating well, but around a week ago, water entered her respiratory system and there was an infection in her brain.

“Doctors admitted Alka in the ICU and best possible efforts were made to save her life,” he said.

In wake of the euthanasia request last year, Union Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had stepped in to help her. Subsequently, the Union Health Ministry approved a financial aid of Rs 16 lakh to the patient.

She was initially admitted to Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences. Thereafter, Alka was shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the national capital on October 5.

After 21-day treatment, Tiwari was referred to CMC Vellore from AIIMS on October 26, and she returned back to Kanpur.

For the bone marrow transplant, Tiwari was admitted to CMC Vellore on November 1. The bone marrow was donated by her mother Surajmukhi Tiwari.

The last rites of Tiwari were carried out in Vellore last night.

The family is expected to return to the city tomorrow.

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