Gurgaon: At the current rate of allegations raging against corporate hospitals, the bills for the rare treatment and three months hospital stay of the severely preterm baby girl would have been a bomb.
But the baby girl of a migrant worker availed it completely free! At 23 weeks, she also becomes the youngest child to survive heart surgery for a congenital heart defect.
The premature baby girl was born at 23 weeks, which in itself is a deathly condition, with a rare heart condition called Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) that would send too much blood into the lungs and make it impossible for her to breathe. That she got a new lease of life in an area infamous for female feticide and a skewed sex also makes this a rare event.
The frail girl also showed an extraordinary fighting spirit. She valiantly battled her condition for the past 3 months at Artemis. Baby Anandita (name changed) was extremely underweight, about 500, equal to the size of our palm. Right after birth, she struggled to breathe and had to be connected to a ventilator to keep her alive. She needed a heart surgery promptly to survive.
Her parents being migrant workers, who live off their daily wages, could not afford such a surgery along with months of specialized care- that was necessary to keep Anandita alive. The hospital management came forward to show utmost generosity and decided to bear the complete cost of surgery, medicines as well as hospitalization.
Dr. Aseem Ranjan Srivastava, Senior Consultant Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, said, ‘Baby Anandita was suffering from Patent Ductus Arteriosus– an easy fix if one were dealing with a grown up child. But when you have a child which is equal to the size of your palm things are sensitive. Her severe prematurity, made the surgery extremely complex and fraught with danger.’
Dr Srivastava further said, ‘Operating through the chest, you are trying to close an abnormal artery carrying blood under high pressure, that has walls that are less than paper thin, in probably the tiniest baby you will ever see’
Dr Srivastava added, ‘At 23 weeks, she is the youngest child to survive heart surgery for a congenital heart defect. She is recovering well at hospital’s Neonatal ICU under Dr. Prabhat Maheshweri Head- NICU, and is expected to be discharged by next week. She will be visiting the hospital very frequently for about a year, after which she will probably be just another healthy kid with no heart disease but the small scar on her chest that will always tell stories about a ‘Brave child’ who fought against all odds to survive.’