On Tuesday afternoon, 18-day-old Hindustan Palkar left Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) with a healthy heart and loads of good wishes.
As the Andheri hospital prepared the case discharge papers, other patients lined up to bid farewell to Hindustan, who is now famous as the infant who featured in a newspaper report.
Hindustan Times had highlighted the ordeal faced by Seema, 24, and Dutta Palkar, 26, on June 20.
The couple came to Mumbai from Karjat, desperately searching for a free ventilator for their five-day-old son who was suffering from a rare heart defect.
The blood vessels supplying blood to and from the infant's heart were wrongly connected, leading to a shortage of oxygen in the blood.
However, they were unable to find a free ventilator at five major public hospitals, and could not afford a private facility.
Help poured in after HT's report. The youth league of St Paul's Marthoma Church in Navi Mumbai initially got the infant admitted to DY Patil Hospital, Navi Mumbai.
He was put on a ventilator and his condition was stabilised. He was later shifted to KDAH, where he underwent a seven-hour open-heart surgery on June 21.
Hindustan's survival has also given hope to parents of other infants suffering from life-threatening heart conditions. "Timely surgery can save many such lives," said Dr Suresh Rao, paediatric cardiac surgeon, KDAH.
"The hospital has waived off the cost of surgery," said Dr Ram Narain, executive director, KDAH.
The surgery costs about Rs. 2.5 lakh. The Rs. 63,000 received by the hospital in donations for Hindustan will be used for his future treatment.
The Palkar couple received Rs. 1.50 lakh from individual donors and plans to use it for Hindustan's education. "We want him to become a big man so he can help others," said Dutta, adding that he had named his son Hindustan because the boy's life had been saved by the report in the newspaper.
Acting on cardiologist Dr Snehal Kulkarni's advice to keep the infant away from infection, the couple has already bought a mosquito net and disinfected their Karjat home.
"Hindustan is very precious to us. I had lost all hope until people started helping us after the news article," said Seema, a housewife.
"We have carefully preserved the newspaper articles so that we can show them to him later," she added.