India’s 1st female cardiologist dies of COVID at age 103

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Doctor S. Padmavati, India’s first female cardiologist, has passed away due to Covid-19. She was 103 years old, and had been battling the disease for 11 days.

“Our very own Madam Padmavati has left us all, after her centurial terrestrial journey. She fought corona bravely but chose to move on at 11.09 p.m. on August 29. Let us keep her in our prayers forever and long,” said O.P. Yadava, Chief Executive Officer of Delhi’s National Heart Institute.

According to another statement by the National Heart Institute, she 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,” it said.

The noted cardiologist had set up the National Heart Institute of the All India Heart Foundation and had served as its Director and President. She was also a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in India.

Born in Myanmar on June 20, 1917, Padmavati earned an M.B.B.S degree from the medical College Rangoon. She had to leave the country due to the Second World War and settle in India.

She pursued her post-graduate in the UK and specialised in cardiology in Sweden and the US at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Harvard University after the war ended in 1945.

Her research work has been on rheumatic heart disease, cor pulmonale, hypertension and coronary artery disease with special reference to epidemiology and prevention.

The acclaimed doctor has published extensively in prestigious journals in India and abroad.

She taught undergraduates, post-graduates and post-doctoral fellows for over 45 years.

Apart from the Padma Vibhushan in 1992, she was also the recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 1967, and Harvard Medical International Award in 2003.

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