Three-month-old Disha is like any other infant, gurgling and playful.
No one could have guessed that Disha was born with two valves in her heart instead of four and had to be under the scalpel within four hours of birth as the defect was detected before birth.
Disha was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia, a condition found in seven out of one lakh births, which needs corrective surgery within hours of birth to survive.
“Though we have done 20-odd cases with similar condition, this is the first time that we operated within four hours as the defect was known before birth,” said Dr Suresh Joshi, chief paediatric cardiac surgeon at Wockhardt Hospital. “The child would have stayed alive only for a few hours as the temporary valve present in a foetus closes within few hours of birth.”
“We discovered in the 27th week of pregnancy that the baby had a rare heart defect,” said Vaishali P., Disha’s mother.
But instead of being disheartened, Vaishali and her husband Parag decided bring the child into the world. And today they are proud of their decision.
Dr Joshi said: “Except athletics, the child can do everything else. She will lead a 95 per cent normal life. Parents should know that if detected early, such heart defects are completely curable. There is no need to abort.”
The surgery had to be planned for weeks. “The baby was born at Breach Candy hospital and at the time of delivery, tests confirmed earlier findings. The baby was then brought to Wockhardt and the surgery was performed,” said Dr Swati, pediatric cardiologist at Wockhardt.
Parag, an advocate, never considered abortion as an option. “My daughter is perfectly normal. The money, the precautions are nothing compared to our joy.”
Disha will need another surgery in a couple of months to be fully fit.