Help poured in for Seema and Dutta Palkar's six-day-old boy on Wednesday after the Hindustan Times reported the parents’ ordeal of not being able to find a free ventilator at five public hospitals for their child suffering from a rare heart defect.
The youth league of St Paul’s Mar Thoma Church in Navi Mumbai was the first to offer help to the Karjat couple and got the infant admitted to DY Patil Hospital on Wednesday morning. The infant, struggling to breathe, was put on a ventilator and stabilised.
Doctors then referred him to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), which too offered to treat the infant after reading the HT report. “We will first treat the child. There are various mechanisms to fund the surgery. We will consider those,” said Ram Narain, chief executive officer, KDAH.
The heart surgery will cost around Rs2.5 lakh. “I could not have paid for the surgery. All the help pouring in is a blessing for us,” said Dutta, 27, who works in a cloth store in Karjat.
Several people contacted Dutta after reading about his ordeal in the Hindustan Times and offered monetary help. He has already received Rs35,000 as donation from individuals.
At KDAH, the infant was put through a battery of tests. "The child requires urgent surgery to correct the placement of the blood vessels in his heart. If his reports are normal, we will conduct the surgery on Thursday," said Dr Suresh Rao, cardiac surgeon, who will operate on him.
“The oxygen level in the infant's body was reduced by 50%. If he had not got timely medical intervention, the chances of his survival were bleak,” said Dr Snehal Kulkarni, one of the cardiologist treating the infant.