Doctors from Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) in Andheri performed a seven-hour open heart surgery on the seven-day old boy of Seema and Dutta Palkar on Thursday to correct his rare heart defect.
On Wednesday, the Hindustan Times had reported the Karjat couple’s ordeal where they were unable to find a single ventilator free for their first-born at five public hospitals in the city.
The infant has a congenital heart defect, transposition of great vessels, a condition where the two major vessels supplying blood to and from the heart are attached wrongly, leading to a shortage of oxygen in his blood. Several individuals and institutions including KDAH, Andheri, offered to help the infant after reading the HT report.
The infant’s parents, meanwhile, were overwhelmed with offers of help pouring in from everywhere. “A woman came to the hospital and gave us Rs 20,000 in cash.
Someone else left a cheque of Rs10,000 at the hospital counter. So many people, who haven’t even seen our baby are helping us,” said Dutta, who works in a garment shop in Karjat. The couple has received Rs 76,000 in donations in the last two days.
Doctors at KDAH performed the surgery after stabilising the infant’s condition. “We put him on medication as the oxygen level in his blood had dropped,” said Dr Suresh Rao, cardiac surgeon, who operated on him with a team of 11 doctors and paramedical staff. During the surgery the heart is stopped to correct the position of the blood vessels. The child is connected to a heart and lung machine, which takes care of the organs’ functions. After the surgery, the child was shifted to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), where he was put on a ventilator. “We will slowly wean him off the ventilator in a few days. He had not been taking food all these days. We will start breastfeeding from Friday,” said Dr Snehal Kulkarni, a cardiologist treating the infant.
Doctors at the hospital will monitor the infant for 15 days.