Lying motionless in a bed at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Bangladesh Medical College and Hospital (BMCH), former Bangladesh international defender Monem Munna, who once roamed the football pitch like a king, was fighting for life.
The ex-national football captain was transferred to the BMCH on Wednesday night from the Kidney Hospital and Dialysis Centre in a critical condition.
"He is in a coma but I should add that he is in a semi-conscious state and not unconscious. He has been suffering from multi-organ dysfunction," said Dr. Mujibul Haque Molla, the head of nephrology department of BMCH after the meeting of a medical board yesterday.
Munna, one of the finest defenders in the history of Bangladesh's football, was a booter destined for stardom and was among the country's highest-paid booters of all time. After retiring from the game in 1998, Munna was diagnosed with kidney related complications and underwent a transplantation in January 2000 in Bangalore, India. He had made a comeback to football since in the role of the manager of Abahani where he played for 12 years.
"When he was admitted to this hospital, we found him suffering from multiple problems. Following a viral fever, he suffered septicaemia, which means his blood became infected. His haemoglobin level is low and so is the white blood count. He came here with high fever and very low blood pressure including renal failure. We kept him on ventilation and once we managed to improve his blood pressure, we started giving him dialysis," the kidney specialist informed.
"It is a rare case but we have covered everything in our power. He is on antibiotics but I am in no position to comment on his condition unless I get the blood-culture reports which is due in 48 hours."
The doctors at BMCH were in contact with the hospital in Bangalore where Munna's transplantation was done.
It was learned that Karuna Kiran, the surgeon who performed the operation on the footballer, had requested that Munna be flown to Bangalore once his condition became stable.
"In his present state, it will take at least one week before he can be moved out," Molla added.
The hospital staff were finding it very difficult to keep away the rush of family members, fans, current and ex-footballers and his close associates who flocked the hospital corridors throughout the day as news spread of his condition.
Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina visited the ailing footballer in the morning and assured his family of every financial help necessary for his treatment.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury, organising secretary of Awami League and a director of Abahani, said that they will make all possible arrangements to move Munna to Bangalore if the local doctors give the permission.
Dhaka City Mayor Sadek Hossain Khoka, BFF president SA Sultan and other officials also visited him.
National cricket captain Habibul Bashar rushed to the hospital on arrival in Dhaka from Chittagong yesterday morning. Test batsman Javed Omar also paid a visit.
The officials of East Bengal Club in Kolkata, where Munna was idolised after his gallant displays while playing for the Indian giants, were also in constant touch to know about his condition.
Munna made his national debut in 1986 during the Seoul Asian Games and captained Bangladesh when they won their first international trophy in the 4-nation tournament in Myanmar in 1995.
KEEP FIGHTING! A nurse fixes the respirator of a critically ill former Bangladesh football captain Monem Munna at the Bangladesh Medical College and Hospital in Dhanmondi yesterday. Munna, who is suffering from kidney related complications, was learnt to be in a semi-conscious state. PHOTO: STAR
Edited on, January 27, 2005, 6:05 PM GMT, by reverse_swing.