Kuenzang Dorji from Merak, who was hit with an arrow on the forehead on September 23, died at around 7:30AM yesterday at the Guwahati hospital in India.

After undergoing surgery, the deceased was kept under observation at the hospital.

Rinchen Dorji, brother of the deceased, said that the delay in the referring process and lack of immediate action from the doctors at the hospital led to the death of his brother.

“As soon as he was hit on the forehead, the first thing on our mind was to call for helicopter service. The doctor at Rangjung also called for the helicopter but because of some reasons it never reached us,” said Rinchen Dorji.

Officials of the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Service Ltd (RBHSL) said that upon the emergency request from the national referral hospital, a chopper was released towards evening on September 23. However, due to the unfavourable weather conditions, the chopper couldn’t pass Thimphu and had to return from Dochula.

Rinchen Dorji said that after travelling for about 10 hours via road, when they reached Guwahati hospital, his brother was kept under observation for two days.

“Without knowing their language it was difficult for us to understand why delay occurred,” he said. “My brother would have survived if doctors didn’t delay operation.”

The liaison officer with Samdrupjongkhar hospital, Rinzin, said that the deceased was already in critical condition when he was referred from Trashigang hospital.

After arriving at Samdrupjongkhar at around 1AM the group reached Guwahati hospital at 3:30AM. “The doctors took a computerised tomography (CT) scan of the deceased and report showed that the injury was severe and it had affected the brain,” said Rinzin.

According to Rinzin, the doctors said that the deceased was not in a condition to receive anaesthetic drugs to undergo operation. “The doctors suggested the deceased be kept under antibiotics until he was stable enough to receive anaesthesia.”

After two days, the deceased was in a condition to receive anaesthesia. He underwent the surgery on September 25.

The body of the deceased was brought back to Trashigang yesterday.

Younten Tshedup | Trashigang