Written by Saaniya Bano, a grade 9 student
India’s first female cardiologist, Dr Padmavati, passed away due to COVID-19 infection the National Heart Institute said in a statement on Sunday, 29th August 2020. After getting COVID, she developed pneumonia in her both lungs and needed to be put on ventilator support. However, she suffered a cardiac arrest. She was 103 years old.
Dr. Padmavati was born in 1917 on 20th June during the British rule in Burma (Myanmar).
Dr. Padmavati was known as the “Godmother” of Cardiologists because of her rich contribution to the development of Cardiology in India,
Dr. Padmavati was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1967 for her achievements and contributions to the development of cardiology, .
She established one of the first departments of Cardiology in G B Pant Hospital. In 1992, she was awarded the Padma Vibushan, India’s second-highest honour.
Dr Padmavati started her career in 1953 as a lecturer at Lady Harding Medical College. This was the time when she opened a cardiologist clinic. She was among the first women cardiologists in India. She received an MBBS degree from Rangoon Medical College. Later, in 1949, she moved to London, where she received a FRCP from the Royal College of Physicians. In her time in the UK, she worked at the National Heart Hospital and at theNational Chest Hospital. In 1962, Dr. Padmavati founded the All India Heart Foundation (ALHF).
Until late 2015, Dr. Padmavati worked 12hours a day, five days working a week at NHI. This amazingly spirited cardiologist was seeing patients regularly till she turned 100 in 2015. Dr. Padmavati also helped establish North India’s first cardiac catheterization laboratory at Lady Harding Medical College.
The Government of India asked her to take over as Director – Principal of Maulana Azad Medical College, in Delhi. Then, she also set up a cardiology department and introduced the DM course in cardiology. While heart hospitals had made giant strides in the treatment of heart disease, Dr. Padmavati believed that she could prevent heart disease. She lamented the neglect of the poor’s s heart diseases and rheumatic heart conditions and tried her best to help them.
Dr. Padmavati retired as the Director of the Maulana Azad Medical College in 1978. She continued to work hard and was declared the most senior fellow of ESC at the age of 90 in 2007.
After knowing about her success stories of her profession, she inspired me a lot. She worked hard until the end of her life. I proud of my Godmother cardiologist because on her last day she was serving as the founding director of the National heart institute in Delhi. She was an active woman who worked until she was 103. Also, she was a health enthusiast and could swim until the age of 93-94 years.