The community in Christchurch has started a fundraising drive to repatriate the body of a young man who died of a medical event earlier this week.

24-year-old Rachhpal Singh suffered chest pain on Friday afternoon, July 19, went to the doctor with his brother in the evening. Rachhpal told the doctor about the symptoms to which he was informed that his heart valve had a blockage that required immediate surgery.

Seeing the gravity of the situation, Rachhpal was admitted in the hospital and underwent surgery in the early hours of Saturday, July 20.

“The surgery went for eight hours, and the doctors informed the family that it was successful, but it still had some post-surgery risks,” Arwinder Singh, a close friend of the deceased told The Indian Weekender.

Friend Arwinder Singh also said that Rachhpal did not gain consciousness as he was supposed to at least six-seven hours after the surgery.

Rachhpal suffered a massive stroke during this time, followed by partial paralysis. His vital organs started failing, and he was kept on a ventilator in life support.

“Neurosurgeons from the hospital came to examine his situation but said his condition was beyond recovery due to the massive stroke he suffered,” Arwinder Singh said.

Rachhpal’s family also thought of taking him back to India while he was on a ventilator but was advised against it considering his delicate condition.

On Tuesday, July 23, doctors at the hospital removed the life support, and Racchpal was declared dead.

Rachhpal was living in New Zealand for the past six years and was working as a manager at a poultry farm in Hornby in Christchurch.

His family and friends regarded him as a hard-working and loving person who was quite popular amongst the community living in Christchurch.

“Rachhpal’s employer came to see him at the hospital and praised him for his hard work at the job.

He also said that Rachhpal had over 600 holiday hours because he would be so dedicated to his work and never take any sick leave,” friend Arwinder Singh added.

Rachhpal was living with his brother, his wife and child and their mother had also come to visit him on a visitor visa.

“Rachhpal’s sudden death has come as a big blow to his family and friends, and they are still trying to come to the terms that their loving child is no more,” Arwinder Singh added.

The community is rallying on social media to raise funds to repatriate his body to India so his family there can perform his last rites and conduct the funeral. As of Thursday, July 25, the fundraising drive has gathered over $31,000 to help his family financially during this time.

“The High Commission of India in Wellington is getting the official papers ready, communicating with the funeral home and other arrangements to send his body back to India.

“We are planning to get his body repatriated by Tuesday next week or as early as the paperwork is finished and flight arrangements made.”