When India’s latest boxing sensation Lovlina Borgohain takes to the Olympic boxing ring on Wednesday, the country will be praying for the 23-year-old. But a hospital in Kolkata will be giving a special shout-out to the Assamese pugilist who had visited it in February, without letting anyone know she was training for the Olympics.
Lovlina’s 45-year-old mother Mamoni had undergone kidney transplant at RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS) on February 15. The boxer had flown down to Kolkata to be by her mother’s side, taking two days off from her training.
On Friday, when the news of Lovlina’s win over Chinese Taipei’s Nein-Chin Chen in the fight for the bronze medal came through, something rang in the mind of RTIICS’s nephrology head Deepak Shankar Ray — The boxer’s surname and native place sounded familiar. Ray ran through the transplant record and zeroed in on Mamoni Borgohain, who, he realized, was the boxer’s mother. He then dialled Tiken, the patient’s husband, and congratulated the proud parents.
“We see a lot of patients from the northeast. They don’t show off. That is why we had no inkling that we were actually treating the mother of a potential Olympic medal winner. We will be cheering for Lovlina as she takes her next bout on Wednesday,” said Ray, who had led the transplant team.
Mamoni had visited the hospital in October last year and doctors found both her kidneys were failing. Transplant surgery was the best option, but she had to wait on dialysis till a matching donor was found. Though the patient was discharged after the transplant, she stayed in Kolkata till May 3 for regular follow-ups.
“Lovlina was in Kolkata for two days in February. She flew back for her training only after her mother regained consciousness post surgery. Now she calls home every day from Tokyo to enquire about her mother, who is now doing very well,” Lovlina’s father Tiken told TOI from Assam.
The phone has not stopped ringing at the Borgohains’ place after Lovlina’s win. However, the 23-year-old is not the only boxer in the family. Her elder twin sisters are medal winners in kickboxing at the national level. While Licha is posted at the BSF training centre in Siliguri, Lima, works for CISF at Jodhpur airport. “Two of my daughters are in the nation’s security service, the third has earned a medal for the country. We are proud,” said Tiken.
The Borgohains will come to Kolkata in mid-August for a follow-up after six months of the transplant.