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One -year-old needs ₹3 lakh to stay alive

Eight babies per 1,000 live births are born with a heart defect, but only three are critical enough to need corrective surgery. In most cases, diagnosis happens late and close to 40% children reach surgeons at a critical stage.

health Updated: Sep 14, 2017 15:49 IST
Heart defects,congenital heart disease,Open heart surgery
Eleven-month-old child Tanishka Shirvastav suffers from a serious congenital heart condition.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

One-year-old Tanishka Shrivastav looks just like children her age and loves to play with dolls. “But she is still not able to get up and walk like other children her age. She is weak. She crawls with great difficulty,” said Manoj Shrivastav, her father.

This is because of a congenital heart defect that affects her blood circulation.

When she was just two-months-old, she got pneumonia. Her doctors at a district hospital in Uttar Pradesh found that she had irregular heartbeat and referred her to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

After she recovered from the bout of pneumonia, on investigation, her doctors in Delhi realised that she was born with a condition called Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), a condition in which a foetal blood vessel fails to close after birth.

“The condition that Tanishka has means that there an unusual connection in her heart between the aorta (the main artery of the body) and the pulmonary artery (the artery carrying blood to lungs) resulting in mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood,” said Dr KS Dagar, her doctor and director of neonatal and congenital heart surgery, Max Superspeciality hospital, Saket.

Apart from that, Tanishka also has the narrowing of an aorta, which results in the heart having to pump more to maintain proper supply of blood in the body. “Apart from the high blood pressure at the site of narrowing, the condition also makes the heart muscle thick and later on incapable of pumping blood. In children with significant narrowing of the aorta, at best they can survive for a couple of years without surgery,” said Dr Dagar.

He will be operating on Tanishka to repair the congenital defects. “After the surgery is done, the baby will lead a completely normal life and the surgery has a good outcome of nearly 90% if success,” said Dr Dagar.

However, the estimated 2.8 lakh required for the surgery is a lot for Manoj who works as a barber at someone else’s shop and earns R 1,000 to 2,000 every month. The genesis foundation, a not-for-profit that supports the treatment of under-priviledged children, will be helping the parents with the financial burden.

To help with her treatment, donate at http://www.genesis-foundation.net/Give.aspx.

First Published: Sep 14, 2017 15:49 IST