Ananda Wedisinghe, an eight-time Fox Hill Supercross champion was admitted to the Kandy Hospital ICU after sustaining serious injuries at the Nuwara Eliya Road Race on the 23rd of April 2017 organised by the Sri Lanka Motorcycle Club in association with the Nuwara Eliya Motor Racing Club. He passed away after surviving on life support for more than a month. Ananda Wedisinghe was 47 at the time of his demise.
To fly Wedisinghe in an Air Ambulance, International SOS, a globally renowned medical and travel firm estimated a cost of 39Million Sri Lanka Rupees. But the collection so far, during the past month, has not built up as expected.
While taking a turn in the Group SM 450cc class, the two riders Ananda Wedisinghe and Suraj Perera attempted to overtake each other before crashing and hitting the sidelines. Both riders were hospitalised for immediate treatment.
Ananda’s condition went from bad to worse but Rumi continued to believe.
“It’s been over four weeks since Ananda (Wedisinghe) was admitted to the Kandy Hospital ICU, and the hospital staff is of the view that his condition is critical. The doctors and nurses of the ICU are taking very good care of him, and I strongly believe that his condition will improve slowly,” she said a week before her husband’s death. (Sunday Times).
Nine years ago, a similar crash took the life of Dilshan Bandaranayake who was driving an Austin Mini. Therefore, Ananda’s death will undoubtedly add to the level of uncertainty over the Nuwara Eliya Road Race. The tournament may experience a drop in the number of participants as well.
Speaking further to the local newspaper Sunday Times, Wedisinghe’s wife, who has been the shadow of the renowned rider, makes that claim.
“I’m really disheartened on how the organisers (The Sri Lanka Motorcycle Club in association with the Nuwara Eliya Motor Racing Club) handled the situation, none of them at least made inquiries on how he is so far. They claimed that all participants were fully insured but when I met the officials of the said insurance company said that Ananda has to become a permanently disable or die to release the money. What’s the purpose of getting such a claim if it isn’t helping my husband recover from the critical condition he is in. I felt really helpless when I was told that,” she revealed.
“Ananda was kept unmoved at the place near where the accident happened for nearly 20 minutes. The organisers did not have an ambulance, even the Corner Marshal who was on duty at the location, did not have a communication tool to convey any message across. The rider who won the race delivered the message in person, and what they sent was the Fire Brigade Ambulance of the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council, which did not have a doctor or nurse. Those who were around and came to watch the race and the Police officers helped to get Ananda into the ambulance. A doctor told me that the delay and lack of basic medical requirements has caused a lot to his current condition. I have already handed a letter to the Ministry of Sports asking for an investigation but nothing has been done so far,” a dejected Rumi divulged.
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