A workaholic who went beyond the call of duty

Dr. E.C. Babukutty, who succumbed to COVID-19 last year, was keen on taking care of the community

Dr. E.C. Babukutty, a dedicated doctor and teacher, who succumbed to COVID-19 in November last year, was known to willingly extend a helping hand and make a difference wherever he could.

Dr. Babukutty was head of the department of orthopaedics at the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH), Ernakulam, a tertiary care facility for COVID patients in the district. He was 60.

A workaholic, he was always adamant about taking care of family and the community, said Dr. Deepak Babu, his son. “He prized education because it brought him out of utter poverty. We come from a Scheduled Caste community, and the need to help people around him was important to him,” Dr. Deepak Babu said. Along with his friends, he had set up Phoenix Charitable Trust that offered scholarships and other assistance to students who were finding it difficult to continue with their studies, though he went about it quietly, without much publicity, he added.

While Dr. Babukutty was initially under treatment at the MCH in Alappuzha, he was later shifted to a private hospital in Kochi, where he passed away on November 26 last year. Where he contracted the infection from is unclear, though he was working even the day before he tested positive. He was under treatment for nearly two months and was on ventilator for 21 days.

It was emotionally taxing for the family, since the progression of the disease had crests and troughs in his case. “He was not symptomatic when he was admitted. He would get better for a few days and then get worse. He was conscious, oriented, and talking even when on ventilator,” said Dr. Deepak Babu, who specialises in sports medicine.

Dr. Babukutty studied at the Kottayam Medical College and wanted to retire from the same institution. He was trying to get a transfer there, even when was admitted in the hospital for COVID. But by the time the order for transfer was issued, he was already on ventilator, Dr. Deepak Babu said.

He was involved with COVID treatment at the MCH and had performed surgeries on COVID patients, said Dr. Ganesh Mohan, Resident Medical Officer, MCH, adding that Dr. Babukutty was a good teacher, besides being a friendly and pragmatic person. His wife, Dr. Letha, is an anaesthetist at the MCH in Alappuzha.

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