PM’s heart surgeon Panda escapes unhurt in accident (Second Lead)

December 27th, 2010 - 10:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi/Guwahati, Dec 27 (IANS) Eminent cardiac surgeon Ramakant Panda, who had last year conducted heart surgery on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was involved in a minor road accident in eastern Assam’s Nagaon district Monday but escaped unhurt, his aide said. The doctor and his family are safe while his driver suffered injuries, Panda’s spokesperson told IANS on the phone from Mumbai.

Panda, along with his wife and two children was going to the Kaziranga National Park on a family holiday when the car he was traveling in brushed against a truck near Samugiri in Nagaon, 150 km from Guwahati.

The spokesperson said Panda had sustained only some minor scratches.

“I am totally fine,” a statement quoted Panda saying.

The statement said that he was worried about his driver Ravi Sonar, who is now in the ICU of Guwahati Medical College Hospital.

“The sharp braking (of the car) hurt his stomach badly,” Panda added.

Panda was in Assam at the personal invitation of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and is being treated as a state guest along with his family. The trip was primarily meant to visit the Kaziranga National Park.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier told IANS that the doctor has sustained only minor injuries.

“He (Panda) had minor injuries on his head and we believe he is absolutely fine and there is nothing to be worried about,” Naba Goswami, Panda’s friend and a cardiac surgeon who is based in the US, told IANS.

Panda, a cardiovascular thoracic surgeon and vice chairman of Mumbai’s Asian Heart Institute, led a team of doctors who successfully conducted heart surgery on the prime minister last year at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the nation’s third highest civilian honour, this year.

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