Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who clung to life buried 30 feet under a massive ice and snow debris that hurtled down a mountain slope on unforgiving Siachen glacier, was on Tuesday battling for survival after being evacuated.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. Sameer Yasir/FirstpostLance Naik Hanamanthappa. Sameer Yasir/Firstpost

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. Sameer Yasir/Firstpost

Prime Minister Modi described Koppad as an “outstanding soldier” whose “endurance and indomitable spirit” cannot be described in words. “We are all hoping and praying for the best,” Modi added. Parrikar said his prayers are with the soldier. “Doctors are putting in best. Let us pray for him,” he said.

According to CNN-IBN, liver and kidneys of the injured soldier are dysfunctional. He is comatose and his condition is extremely critical, Army Hospital Research and Referral said after Koppad was flown in here from Siachen Glacier.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag visited the hospital and asked the nation to pray for his well being.

Koppad, who was rescued yesterday from an altitude of 20,500 feet by a team of over 150 soldiers and two canines, Dot and Misha, and was initially declared dead by authorities, was flown in here by an IAF aircraft accompanied by a critical care specialist of the force and a medical specialist from the Siachen base camp.

Fortunately, there was no cold exposure-related frostbite or bony injuries to him, a medical bulletin issued by the hospital said. “He has been placed on a ventilator to protect his airway and lungs in view of his comatose state. He remains extremely critical and is expected to have a stormy course in the next 24 to 48 hrs due to the complications caused by re-warming and establishment of blood flow to the cold parts of the body,” it said.

“It is a rebirth for all of us,” said Mahadevi, wife of Koppad, with a visible sense of relief as his miraculous survival. Mahadevi said the family was going through an ordeal after it came to know of the tragedy, but the news of his survival brought smiles back on their faces. We were going through a painful ordeal after the avalanche struck…The news of his survival brought smiles back on our faces. We were all crying and had almost lost hope. I didn’t know what to do. I have a one-and-half-year old daughter,” she said.

With PTI

Excerpt from – 

Liver and kidneys dysfunctional: Siachen survivor battles for life as India roots for Lance Naik