Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, who was described as a miracle soldier after being dug out alive from snow and ice in which he was buried for six days in the inhospitable Siachen glacier, died on Thursday.
Lance Naik Koppad was flown down to the Army Hospital (Research and Referral), where he battled for life for two days.
“Really sorry to inform everyone that LNk Hanumanthappa is no more. He breathed his last breath at 11:45 a.m.,” Army officials said on Thursday.
He was admitted at the hospital on Tuesday morning and was on ventilator since. His condition steadily deteriorated due to multiple organ failure.
The entire nation was praying for the recovery of the 33-year-old soldier who was hypothermic, hypoxic, hypoglycemic and in severe shock. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, his liver and kidney were dysfunctional and was being given “aggressive therapy and supportive care”.
He was rescued alive on Monday night, rekindling hope that he might pull through even as nine of his colleagues succumbed.
He is survived by his wife Ashok Bilebal and their two-year-old daughter Netra.
A resident of village Betadur in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Koppad had joined the army 13 years ago. The condition of Koppad had deteriorated yesterday. Dubbed as the ‘miracle man’, the soldier had managed to stay alive for six days buried under the snow after an avalanche struck their post on February 3.
His condition was reviewed by a team of doctors comprising critical care specialists, the HoD Dept of Medicine, a senior nephrologist, a senior neurologist of the army hospital and a panel of experts from AIIMS yesterday.
His colleagues described him as an “ever smiling man” and a “brave solider who displayed a high degree of initiative”. Koppad chose difficult areas over peace postings in his 13 years of service.
The shortage of oxygen to his brain and failure of kidneys made it even more difficult for the doctors to revive him.
Doctors at the R&R Hospital, aided by specialists from AIIMS, had put in their best effort to save the brave soldier but it never seemed enough.