05/05/2021, 13.43
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Malvani, faithful Catholic: My wife gives up oxygen to save Covid patients

by Pascal Saldanha

Rosy Saldanha suffers from diabetes and has mild paralysis. Despite this, she asked her husband Pascal to share oxygen cylinders with those suffering from the coronavirus. The couple sells jewelry and other property to help those in need. “Always help the poor and needy”.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - With 360,000 cases of contagion a day, India is struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. The lack of oxygen in hospitals is a daily drama for the many sick people. Despite the tragic toll, solidarity abounds. Pascal Saldanha, Catholic decorator from Malvani (suburb of Mumbai) tells the story of his wife Rosy: a diabetic with numerous pathologies, she has decided to donate the oxygen cylinders that she keeps at home for emergencies to the seriously ill of Covid-19 . "We must always help the poor and the needy," the 52-year-old Catholic told AsiaNews. The woman, who after12 years had to leave her teaching job at St. Xavier School in Borivali due to her illnesss said “I'm sick but we have to support those in difficulty, make them happy. Our children Anselm and Shalom encourage us to help others”.

On April 18, in the midst of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, my childhood friend Rafique Siddiqui told me that a teacher at the Holy Mother English School - the institution she is the principal - could not access oxygen to treat her husband, infected by Covid.

After telling her this syory, my wife Rosy decided to give Shabana Malik the oxygen tank we keep at home for emergencies. Rosy is diabetic: in 2016 she had a cerebral haemorrhage and ended up in a coma; her kidneys collapsed and she has since suffered from mild paralysis.

When she arrived at the hospital she weighed 65 kg; after a month of intensive care she dropped to 20 kg. Back home, she has to undergo dialysis three times a week. She now she weighs 40 kg, but she is always at risk of infection.

The same day that I spoke with Rafique, we delivered the oxygen cylinder to Shabana. “Don't worry about me - Rosy told me - whether I live or die is a gift from God. Let's save the lives of the sick”.

I spent 20 million rupees (225,500 euros) for her treatment. We were forced to sell our second home to meet the costs. With the health emergency there are few weddings and my business as a decorator has suffered. Nevertheless, we are happy to help others with what we have.

Rosy insisted that I sell her jewellery to buy more cylinders to donate. We raised 80,000 rupees (900 euros) from the sale. In addition to Shabana's husband, we gave oxygen cylinders to seven people: we still have one. I will also sell my generator for 400 thousand rupees (4,500 euros), in order to help other sick people.

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