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North Texas donors help send ventilators to India as COVID-19 surges

"Everything is about COVID right now. There is a lot of fear on the ground," said Rohini Sheeba, of Richardson, who is now in India after her dad got COVID-19.

DALLAS — The surge of COVID-19 cases in India is staggering. As the country grapples with the crisis, outside forces are scrambling to give help. 

Neel Gonuguntla, of the U.S.-India Chamber of Commerce, has been impressed by the outpouring of monetary support and compassion in the last week. 

"It's a symphony of compassion, truthfully speaking," said Gonuguntla. 

On Tuesday, Neel inspected a shipment of 20 ventilators from a warehouse in Addison set to leave for India. She was able to procure the 20 ventilators and 40 breathing circuits.  

"We normally make 1,200 ventilators a year. We produced 10 years of ventilators in four months," said James with AutoMedx, which has a warehouse in Addison. 

The ventilators will be shipped directly to the Indian Red Cross. All the shipping and freight costs have been covered by corporate partners, like PGL and American Airlines. 

"Many we didn't have to call, they just offered," said A.K. Mago, who started the Chamber and its foundation in 1999. 

"This crisis in India has brought so many people come forward to help," he said. 

RELATED: Hindu priest in Plano loses family members in South India as COVID-19 surges 

Rohini Sheeba, of Richardson, learned two weeks ago that her elderly dad has COVID-19.  

"They couldn't find a bed in the city. All the COVID beds were taken," said Sheeba. 

She immediately booked a 29-hour flight from DFW Airport to Dubai, Chennai, and ultimately to her hometown of Coimbature, India. She is there now with her family.

"Everything is about COVID right now. It's all on the news. There is a lot of fear on the ground," she said. 

Her father, a retired doctor, is slowly recovering.

Gonuguntla said there will be more ventilator shipments in the immediate future. The need is absolutely dire in India and there is no shortage of help coming from the states.

"Be tough. We all are here to support you. You will get through all this," said said Mago.