India's first female cardiologist, Dr S Padmavati died due to COVID-19 on August 29 at the National Heart Institute. "Dr S Padmavati, an eminent cardiologist, rather the first female cardiologist of India, popularly known as 'God Mother of Cardiology' passed away on August 29 due to COVID-19 infection," the NHI said in a statement on August 30.
For her contribution to the field of cardiology in India, Padmavati was awarded Fellowship of the American College of Cardiology and FAMS. The government of India conferred her with Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan in 1967 and 1992, respectively.
Padmavati was born in Burma, now known as Myanmar, in 1917, just a year before the outbreak of Spanish Flu pandemic. The 1918 flu pandemic, thought to be the deadliest in human history, killed at least 50 million people worldwide (the equivalent of 200 million today), with half a million of those in the United States.
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She had migrated to India in 1942 during World War II. She graduated from Rangoon Medical College and went overseas for higher education. On her return to India, she joined as the faculty at the Lady Hardinge Medical College, the statement said.
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In 1962, Dr Padmavati founded the All India Heart Foundation. Later, in 1981, she founded the National Heart Institute, where she was undergoing treatment for the past 11 days. Former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, had inaugurated the National Heart Institute.
"103-year-old Padmavati was admitted with COVID-19 and had breathing difficulty and fever. She developed pneumonia in both lungs and needed ventilator support. However, she sustained a cardiac arrest and passed away," the NHI said. The cardiologist was cremated at the designated COVID-19 crematorium at Punjabi Bagh on August 30.
Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan took to Twitter to pay his tributes.
(With PTI inputs)
My humble tribute to Dr SI Padmavati, Director of Delhi’s National Heart Institute & Founder Prez, All India Heart Foundation.
A Padma Vibhushan awardee, she was India’s 1st woman cardiologist & established the 1st cardiac clinic & cath lab in N India !@MoHFW_INDIA@PMOIndiapic.twitter.com/S9lRBuMUL5
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) August 30, 2020
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