NJ woman trapped in India by Covid-restrictions while husband dies in US | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

NJ woman trapped in India by Covid-restrictions while husband dies in US

Kiran Shukla of New Jersey is only one of hundreds of U.S. visa holders stranded in their native India after traveling there to attend to a dying parent in this time of COVID-19.

But she may be the only one who then has been kept from attending to a spouse back home who became critically ill and died in her forced absence. She had to watch a YouTube livestream from 7,300 miles away as her American-born 19-year-old son, Samyak Shukla, participated in funeral and cremation rites for her 49-year-old husband, Jitendra Shukla.

“That was my first time with any kind of funeral or cremations or any religious dealing with a body,” Samyak told The Daily Beast. “I just did what I was told.”

Back on April 5 when Samyak and his father drove Kiran to Newark Airport, she had not imagined that she was seeing her husband for the very last time.

“She had no clue,” Samyak recalled. “Other than saying goodbye through hugs, there was nothing else that was said.”

Kiran then flew off to tend to her father, who was in Mumbai, nearing the end of a long fight with brain cancer.

“She wanted to see her father a last time,” Samyak said.

Kiran’s father died of cancer on April 17, as India was being hit with a devastating surge in COVID-19 that caused many people to forget all other illnesses. The 5 million new COVID cases recorded in India that month included Kiran, along with her mother, sister, and brother-in-law.

“Everybody got COVID,” Samyak said.

All the adults were hospitalized save for Kiran, who took care of her 3-year-old niece. The girl’s father was the only one who did not survive.

“She doesn’t know that her father is no more,” Samyak reported. “Explaining that to a 3-year-old would be close to impossible if you ask me. One day, she’s going to grow up and say, ‘Look at all these kids, they have dads. Where's my dad?’”

Jitendra had been unable to do anything for his wife but worry from afar in New Jersey. He was greatly relieved when she made a complete recovery and tested negative.

Then, on May 8, Jitendra grew suddenly ill with liver failure, another of the many illnesses eclipsed by fear of COVID-19. Samyak called an ambulance that took his father to JFK Medical Center In Edison. His next call was to his mother and she became the one to worry.

Jitendra was sedated upon his arrival and remained unconscious as he began to suffer multiple organ failure. He tested negative for COVID-19 at the hospital, just as Kiran had in India. But the virus was still what prevented her from catching the next available plane to be at his side.

The Biden administration had imposed a ban on travel from India effective on May 4. It does allow for emergencies but Kiran would still need her visa stamped in order to fly home. And that had to be done in India at the U.S. Embassy or one of the consulates, all of which had been shut down due the virus.