AURORA, Colo. — For Dr. Saketh Guntupalli, the surge of COVID-19 cases in India is personal.
His cousin is a neurosurgeon at a large hospital in Hyderabad, and he’s abandoned his specialty practice to help the countless coronavirus patients seeking care.
“So when I saw the devastation that was going on, hospitals overflowing, seeing in some ways where we were back in November/December with less resources, I wanted to spring into action,” said Guntupalli, a gynecologic oncologist at UCHealth.
Guntupalli approached leadership at UCHealth, and was able to get donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) from multiple departments at the system’s hospitals and Anschutz Medical Campus. The hospital also donated supplies from its reserve stock.
“I am floored, I am humbled, I am speechless at the turnout we have gotten with this cause,” he said.
The first shipment of supplies is expected to reach southern India by Tuesday. Guntupalli set up a GoFundMe to offset the shipping cost for the donations, as of this writing, has raised $27,170.
India, the world's second most populous country, reported 403,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 4,092 deaths. Hospitals there have experienced oxygen shortages due to the influx of patients.
"I'm overwhelmed at the love and support people of Colorado have shown for a country that most people are never going to visit in their life and have a very minimal connection to, but I think that human connection that idea that we want our kids to be safe, parents to be safe, neighbors to be safe is universal," Guntupalli said.
"We're all in this together," he added. "I know that's really trite and overused but unless we get this pandemic under control in other parts of the world, we're not going to be able to get our lives back. We're an interconnected world now."
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