Ashok Diwan, the goal keeper in India’s 1975 Hockey World Cup, who is in USA at the moment, had fallen ill squad complaining of anxiety and heart-related issues.
Diwan had informed about his ill health to Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s Ambassador in the United States. The issue was raised in Indian press and was also conveyed to Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Sports to help him. Diwan was on his yearly visit to his son who is based in Sacramento, California. But he developed high levels of anxiety and blood pressure.
With coronavirus pandemic, international travels around the globe have been suspended. Hence Diwan cannot return to India in foreseeable future.
But Outlook reports that Diwan's condition has improved.
“Today morning [Friday], India’s Ambassador called me up on WhatsApp when I was still sleeping. It was a big thing, a pleasant surprise. He called me up from his personal number and enquired about my health. The Indian sports ministry had informed him about my illness. Some other officials of the Indian embassy had earlier got in touch with me and had arranged for a doctor whom I am consulting,” Diwan told Outlook.
“On Friday, I felt a little pain in my heart, and consulted the doctor. He added one more medicine to the two I have been taking for blood pressure and gastric issues. I have got the medicine for one month. But overall, I felt better on Friday compared to how I was a few days ago,” he said.
Diwan, however, wants to get back to India as treatment is expensive in the US.His wife and his daughter are in Delhi.
“Last week, I spent $590 (about Rs.42,600) on a few tests done on me. Then, the doctor prescribed a CT scan, which would cost me around $7,000 (Rs.5,33,000). It’s a big amount for me. I have bought a machine for checking blood pressure, and I check it thrice a day. I had feared that if my ailment escalated, I had no medical insurance, which I forgot to buy here in the US,” he said.
But Diwan's former teammates have been calling him to ask about his well being.
“This morning (Friday), Ajitpal Singh called me up to enquire about my wellbeing. Earlier, Ashok Dhyanchand, Harcharan Singh, MK Kaushik, and Onkar Singh, etc have called me,” he said.
Amid the grim scenario only consolation for Diwan is that he is now staying with one of his cousins. “I wouldn’t have been able to anything on my own. Fortunately, my cousin lives at a 10-minute drive from my son’s place and about a week ago she brought me to live with her. It’s a comforting feeling,” he informed.