December 6, 2016
Chennai: At 11:30 pm on Monday night, Apollo Hospitals released the statement that everyone was awaiting confirmation for anxiously since early evening. “It is with indescribable grief, we announce the sad demise of our chief minister of Tamil Nadu at 11.30 pm,” the hospital statement read.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and the AIADMK supremo J Jayalalitaa, who was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai on September 22 and underwent treatment for more than 70 days, died here on Monday night. She was 68.
The hospital said that chief minister had responded well to the multi-disciplinary care, including under the treatment of British specialist Dr Richard Beale, in the critical care unit and subsequently recovered substantially to being able to take food orally.
“On this basis, chief minister was shifted from the advanced critical care unit to the high dependency unit, where her health and vitals continued to improve under the close monitoring by our expert panel of specialists,” Apollo Hospitals said.
Ultimately though, Jayalalithaa suffered a massive cardiac arrest on Sunday, and as the intensivist was in her room, immediate measures were taken to revive her. “The chief minister was immediately administered resuscitation and provided Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support within the hour,” according to the statement. “However despite our best efforts to save the chief minister, underlying conditions rendered her unable to recover and she passed away today.”
There was some confusion in the early evening yesterday, as some TV channels reported that Jayalalithaa was no more, but Apollo Hospitals authorities denied the reports as “totally baseless and false”. As unconfirmed rumours about the chief minister’s condition started spreading, AIADMK workers started pelting stones at the hospital, ransacking shops and damaging the windshield of buses at several places in various districts. Emotional scenes were witnessed as thousands of AIADMK cadres and ordinary people gathered near the Apollo Hospitals disturbed and wailing to think that their “Amma” was no more.
To prevent further incidents of violence, thousands of policemen were deployed from Apollo Hospitals to Poes Garden, where Jayalalithaa’s residence is situated.
Born into a Bharamin family in Karnataka on February 24, 1948, Jayalalithaa moved to Chennai in the 1950s to live with her mother who worked as a theatre actress and in Tamil movies. She went on to act in 140 films, before she joined the AIADMK, persuaded by her former colleague and chief minister MGR, in 1982.