When one-and-a-half-year-old Sharon D’Souza was declared to be fit and healthy by doctors on Wednesday, she began waving her handkerchief vigorously as if she understood them.
Sharon underwent a rare open-heart surgery on January 14 last year when she was just five months old. Born with a congenital heart defect called ALCAPA (Anomalous Left Coronary Artery from the Pulmonary Artery), she was declared out of danger only after a year-long follow up.
ALCAPA is a rare birth malformation where the positions of the arteries are switched.
“Both emotionally and financially it was a difficult phase for me but today I am the happiest man on the earth,” said her father Bonni D’Souza, who works for a law firm in Parel.
“At the time of birth, babies born with such deformities remain active like normal babies. But as they grow, the symptoms manifest into breathlessness, inactivity and weak intake of food,” said Dr Suresh Joshi, consultant pediatric cardiac surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
Last January, Sharon was rushed to the hospital. She was suffering from all the symptoms of the disease ALCAPA.
“We immediately operated on her. Usually to perform such complex surgery a heart lung machine is used but in this case we performed the surgery without the machine as it can have some side effects on the child’s brain and heart,” said Joshi.