Eminent Indian-American physician and community leader Ajay Lodha, who had been battling COVID-19 for the last eight months at Cleveland Clinic, breathed his last on November 21 due to complications from the disease. Dr.Lodha, aged 58, was the former president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI). He is survived by his wife Smita, son Amit and daughter Shweta.
He was tested positive for Covid-19 in April this year and had been receiving medical treatment ever since. After undergoing lung transplantation, it appeared he would soon recover fully; however, his health deteriorated because of some post-surgery complications, which led to his sad and untimely death.
The Consulate General of India in New York tweeted: “deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Ajay LLodha’sdemise, a prominent member of the Indian-American community. He will be in our hearts always. His humility, kindness and contribution to the society shall continue to inspire us.””
AAPI President SudhakarJonnalagadda expressed shock and sadness at the visionary leader’s passing and said his death is “the darkest day in AAPI history.
President-Elect of AAPI Dr.AnupamaGotimukula said, “Lodha’sheroic fight with COVID-19 epitomises the struggles of frontline health workers.” Lodha, along with other physicians of Indian origin who have lost their lives due to the pandemic, “ill continue to inspire us and AAPI forever.”
Prominent members of the Indian-American community also mourned the passing of Lodha, who was honoured with the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honour in 2016 and the NargisDutt Memorial Foundation Physician of the Year Award in 2008. He had also served as the President of AAPI in 2015-16.
Jaipur Foot USA Chairman Prem Bhandari expressed condolences on the passing of Lodha, who he described as “dear friend and a great human being who used to go out of his way to help those in need.”
Lodha was the former president of Rajasthan Association of North America and Rajasthan Medical Alumni Association and Director of Research Department at Flushing Hospital, New York. An internist by profession, Lodha had completed his residency at the Flushing Hospital and was the founder and president of Queens Medical Services, a primary care practice.