Tintu Paul
Indian nurse Tintu Paul, who died in a road accident on the Jebel Jais mountains during the Eid holidays. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE health-care community is in a shock, following the untimely death of 36-year-old Indian nurse Tintu Paul in a road accident on the Jebel Jais mountains, where she had gone with her family to spend the Eid holidays.

Paul’s husband and son were seriously injured in the accident. Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Police, Civil Defence and the National Ambulance rescued the victims and rushed them to Al Saqr Hospital in RAK, where the nurse succumbed to her injuries on May 4.

Horrific car crash

Paul, hailing from Kochi, Kerala, worked at the RAK Hospital Clinic in Al Hamra, RAK. The clinic is part of the Arabian Health Care Group. She, along with her family, was on a short holiday to the Jebel Jais mountain range for Eid. The car they were travelling in had her husband, Kripa Shankar, and their two children, Kritin Shankar, 10, and Aadin Shankar, 1, and Paul’s mother-in-law. The vehicle suddenly lost control and crashed on May 3.

The vehicle suddenly lost control and crashed on May 3.

Rescue operation

According to RAK Police, their Operations Room received a call about an accident during the Eid holidays. A team from National Ambulance, along with RAK Police and Civil Defence, immediately rushed to the accident site.

The RAK Police spokesperson said: “All the passengers in the car, including the driver, sustained serious injuries and fractures. The injured were rushed to Al Saqr Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah. One critically injured person was moved to the ICU [Intensive Care Unit] of Saqr Hospital. The case has been referred to traffic prosecution for legal procedure.”

In a statement, National Ambulance said that upon receiving a call about the accident, it immediately dispatched three ambulances and one responder with Area Lead. National Ambulance coordinated and worked closely with the emergency partners at the accident site and all the injured persons were treated at the accident site, before being transported to hospital for further treatment.

Family stunned by tragedy

According to Basil Paul, a UAE-based first cousin of the deceased, the entire family was stunned by the loss and was unable to come to terms with it. He told Gulf News: “We are a large extended family of 22 cousins. This is the first time we have had such a devastating tragedy in our family. Tintu was such a loving and kind person. Her mother in Kerala is in disbelief and unable to cope with her loss. She keeps saying, ‘My daughter will come back soon’. Tintu’s brother, who is in the United Kingdom, is expected to arrive for the funeral,” said Basil.

Other family members critical

Basil also added that Paul’s husband continues to be critically injured with spinal fractures and was admitted to ICU. Krtiti, the ten-year-old son of the deceased, who had suffered more than ten fractures, was also in ICU at Al Saqr Hospital, while Tintu’s mother-in-law, who had knee injuries, was under treatment at the same hospital, along with Aadin, the one-year-old child of the deceased.

Colleagues express grief

Dr Sudeep Thomas, orthodontist with whom Paul worked at Al Hamra Clinic, paid a rich tribute to his colleague. “It is very difficult to find the right words to express my grief at a loss of this proportion. Tintu, who was such a helpful soul, joined Al Hamra Clinic one year ago. She was previously working in Dubai. She was assisting me on a daily basis,” Dr Thomas said.

Dr Thomas described Paul as a very genial person. “Tintu was an extremely generous person, who even shared the food she brought for lunch with her subordinates in office, such as the cleaners and office helpers. She was a very hands-on mother who used to be on the phone, talking to her children the moment she found time. I am completely stunned and can only say that God had a different plan for her and called her to the beautiful eternal shores of the other world,” Dr Thomas added.

Tintu’s colleagues and seniors expressed their shock at the tragic loss.

Sharing his grief, Dr Raza Siddiqui, Group CEO of Arabian Health Care and RAK Hospital, said: “We are all shocked and saddened by this untimely loss of our young and hardworking nurse Tintu Paul.”

Dr Asma Mansour, dentist at Al Hamra Clinic, with whom Tintu worked, recalled her as a very dedicated, cheerful and enthusiastic nurse. “It is heartbreaking to accept the loss of such a person. Tintu was a hands-on person, maintaining a very good rapport with patients and alerting them about their appointments. She will always be in our thoughts,” Dr Mansour said.

Dr Siddiqui further said that RAK Hospital had a special accident insurance cover for all employees. “We extend a special insurance facility to all our staff. The insurance provides for payment of 24 months’ salary to the family and special repatriation facility.”

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Second death of a nurse within one week

This is the second death of an Indian nurse in a week. On May 1, Sheba Mary Thomas, resident of Cheppad, Kerala, working in Abu Dhabi, lost her life in another car accident while on Eid holiday in Salalah, Oman.

RAK Police have urged all motorists and road users to adhere to all necessary precautions while driving in mountainous areas and abide by traffic rules at all times in order to ensure their safety and that of others. Police have also advised all road users to drive within the speed limit and maintain safe distance between vehicles to ensure safety.