New Delhi: Braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa — who was trapped for six days at the Siachen Glacier under 35 feet of snow before being rescued on Monday night — lost his battle for life and passed away at about 11.45 am on Thursday. The soldier had slipped into deep coma despite 'maximal life support with aggressive ventilation and dialysis'. He died of multi-organ failure.
The brave soldier breathed his last despite all efforts by the country's best Army and civilian doctors to save him. In all, 10 soldiers including Lance Naik Hanamanthappa of the Madras Regiment perished in the avalanche that had struck a specific area over 20,000 feet at the glacier on February 3. Siachen is the world's coldest and highest battlefield.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tribute to the braveheart via Twitter. "He leaves us sad and devastated," Modi tweeted, reflecting the sombre mood in the nation following the brave soldier's death.
He leaves us sad & devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 11, 2016
Just minutes before his death, the Army had said, "Braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa continues to remain extremely critical with worsening multiple organ dysfunction. His circulatory shock is now refractory to all drugs in maximum permissible doses and his kidneys remain non-functional."
"His pneumonia has worsened and the blood clotting disorder shows no sign of reversal despite blood component support. He is on maximal life support with aggressive ventilation and dialysis. He has slipped into a deeper state of coma."
The condition of the braveheart had deteriorated on Wednesday evening while remaining extremely critical, with evidence of oxygen deprivation to the brain, pneumonia in both lungs, and multi-organ failure including damage to kidneys, thereby rendering the chances of his survival as extremely bleak.
The 33-year-old soldier of the 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment is survived by wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and two-year-old daughter Netra Koppad. A resident of village Betadur in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Koppad had joined the army 13 years back.
Hanamanthappa had also been a "yoga instructor" to fellow-troops and his physical fitness probably stood him in good stead during the horrific six days when he was trapped at the glacier.
Army doctors had already warned on Tuesday that Lance Naik Hanamanthappa "is expected to have a stormy course in the next 24 to 48 hours due to the complications caused by re-warming and establishment of blood flow to the cold parts of the body".