Cheshire man ‘desperate’ to raise money for parents fighting Covid in India

Megan Baynes, PA
·3-min read

A Cheshire man said he is “desperate” to raise enough money to pay for his parents’ medical treatment as they fight Covid-19 in India.

Vernon Rose, from Ellesmere Port, has been wiring money to pay for his parents, Veronica, 57, and Stephen, 59, after they were taken to Shree Samarth Hospital in Pune last week.

The family has spent more than £7,000 on treatment — including £2,300 on medicine. His mother is on a ventilator at a cost of around £230 a day.

India is battling a surge in Covid-19 which has resulted in a shortage of beds and oxygen, as well as a spiralling death toll that has left healthcare systems on the brink of collapse.

The 33-year-old, who lost his job last year, started a GoFundMe appeal to help pay for their care.

Mr Rose’s parents with his infant son (Vernon Rose/PA)
Mr Rose’s parents with his infant son (Vernon Rose/PA)

He told the PA news agency: “Starting a fundraiser was not something I wanted to do, but I am desperate, I am in a corner.

“I have managed to cover all the costs up until now, but I have exhausted my funds.”

So far the appeal has raised more than £1,600, which he described as “amazing”.

“We don’t want to give the impression that we are crying poverty but want to send a positive message of hope to everyone struggling,” he said.

“There are people worse off than us who don’t have the advantages of GoFundMe as this doesn’t work in India.”

He was told on Thursday that his father was out of the “danger zone” but will need constant care and oxygen for 10 days in the hospital’s recovery ward.

His mother is in “critical” condition but has made a small amount of progress.

Stephen Rose is now out of the ‘danger zone’ (Vernon Rose/PA)
Stephen Rose is now out of the ‘danger zone’ (Vernon Rose/PA)

Mr Rose said: “(The doctor) is trying. He is a friend of a friend and he has made this a personal battle, knowing I’m abroad and so far away.

“He told me, look, just be positive and pray. Because this needs a miracle.”

He said the doctor overseeing their care, Dr Sunil Kalashetty, told him the variant of the virus was “unlike anything we have seen before, very aggressive and evolving at a dangerous pace”.

Mr Rose said: “He called me yesterday to give thanks. He said if it wasn’t for my parents being admitted to their hospital he wouldn’t have had oxygen and would have not been able to save any lives.

“This was possible because a friend of mine, Gaurav Sahani, who is very fond of my parents, owns an oxygen plant factory. When he heard my parents were there, he transferred enough oxygen stock to the hospital so that my parents are not in danger – resulting in the whole hospital having enough oxygen for a few days.”

Vernon Rose with his wife Corena and son (Vernon Rose/PA)
Vernon Rose with his wife Corena and son (Vernon Rose/PA)

Mr Rose, and his wife Corena, 27, were stuck in India for nine months during the first wave of the pandemic before they could return home to the UK with help from their local MP, Justin Madders.

During that time, Mrs Rose gave birth to their son, now eight months old.

Mr Rose now works as a recruiter in the healthcare industry, for RGH Global. He said: “My CEO, Justin Madgwick, I told him I was stuck — I earn commission and I asked if I could get my commission early to help pay some of these bills and get my parents admitted to hospital.

“Without hesitating, he doubled what I was asking for and sent it within 10 minutes of the conversation.”

Donations can be made at uk.gofundme.com/f/help-stephen-veronica-fightback?utm_campaign=p_cp_url&utm_medium=os&utm_source=customer