Till March, the parents of two-month-old Shree Balerao were grappling with why their son would cry at night.
Several doctors in their hometown, Nashik, had been unable to diagnose the reason for Shree’s discomfort.
On March 5, at a camp organised at a Nashik clinic by the medical team of Andheri’s Seven Hills Hospital, doctors diagnosed Shree with a rare heart defect, Taussig-Bing Heart, wherein the aorta and pulmonary artery were wrongly attached to the ventricles.
Shree underwent a seven-hour open heart surgery at the Andheri hospital on March 25 and was discharged from hospital on Thursday.
“If the patient was diagnosed couple of months later, the damage would have been irreparable. Now, thanks to the team of experts, we can ensure Shree’s parents that he will not require further corrective surgery for his lifetime,’ said Dr Shiva Prakash K, paediatric cardiologist at Seven Hills Hospital.
Shree’s condition resulted in pure (oxygenated) blood from the lungs re-circulating in pulmonary artery and impure blood re-circulating in the aorta. This prevented the oxygenated blood from reaching the body organs. Further, a hole had developed between the two ventricles.
Also, owing to the delay in diagnosis, Shree’s pulmonary artery had grown four times the size of the aorta as it was unable to take the load of excessive blood flow.
Nitin Balerao, said that he was relieved to see his son sleep peacefully during the night after the operation. “Earlier, despite medication he would cry in pain through the night,” said the government employee.
The hospital’s paediatric cardiologist, Dr Srinivas L, said, “Because the child weighed only 3kg, we had to speed up the surgery so that there wasn’t much blood loss.”
Shree was taken off the ventilator 36 hours after the surgery. Dr Vijay Surase, cardiologist at Jupiter Hospital said, “There are only a handful of doctors in the city who can conduct this surgery. The doctors have done a commendable job.”