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Little Angles Successful Congenital Heart Failure Surgery In India

Little Angles Successful Congenital Heart Failure Surgery In India

Baby Zofia From Poland

End-Stage Heart failure treated with Ventricular Assist Device - Pediatric surgery by Dr. Z. S. Meharwal

There are angels in this world and god put them here to make us believe in him. These angels saved my daughter’s life. My daughter is my life. I could bear anything in this world but not any harm to her. After Successful Congenital Heart Failure Surgery in India, She is now healthy and doing well in her studies, all thanks to the doctor, his team, Indian health guru consultants, and my family.

You must be thinking who I am and why I am telling you all this. I am Yelena from Krakow, Poland, and my daughter’s name is Zofia. It was nothing less than a miracle my daughter's life was saved after she was diagnosed with end-stage heart failure. Your child is your world and you don’t want anything to happen to them. Seeing your child suffer in any way, worse even hearing that her heart is about to fail anytime, is the last thing you want to hear. That is exactly what happened to us. It all started 2 years ago.

When my child was just 2 years old, she started finding it difficult to play. She became easily tired while playing or even after a little bit of activity. We took it lightly first and thought she needed better nutrition. But one day she fainted while playing. We took her to a children’s doctor. He asked us to run some tests. After the reports came, he referred my child to a heart specialist. We were surprised and asked him what was wrong. He told us that the tests showed that Zofia might have some kind of heart problem. This made us feel that the ground had moved from under our feet. Still, my husband told me that it is not the end of the world and there is a treatment for everything.

So the next day, we went to see the pediatric heart specialist in our city. We went with the hope that he would say that he will find nothing wrong with our child’s heart. He listened carefully to us and then required my child to get a scan. After the report came, he said that my child suffered from an underdeveloped heart. He told us that a part of our child’s heart did not develop properly. This prevented it from pumping the required amount of blood to the body. We asked him how this happened and how to treat it.

He told us that Zofia was born with this condition. We were surprised because my gynecologist or pediatrician at the time of birth didn’t tell us so. He further told us that if our child was not treated in time, this could mean the worst we could imagine. So we asked him about the treatment options. When he used the word ‘end-stage heart failure,’ it shook us to the core. I thought how could this happen. She was a healthy and playful girl until a few weeks ago and now the doctor was talking about the worst thing that we could not even imagine.

The doctor asked us to get a few more tests before determining what treatment options are available. The test reports took 2 days to be complete. But he told us that the treatment, most likely surgery, will have to be done in a short period of time to have any chance of my daughter surviving. After 2 days the reports came and the doctor told us that a ventricular assist device surgery could be the best treatment option for my daughter. We asked if it will certainly save her life. He told us that there was more than an 80% chance of her survival if no complications arose. We were somewhat relieved and asked him if he did the surgery. He told us that he was not a surgeon and there were only a few doctors in the country doing it. He referred us to one surgeon and told us about the expected cost of the surgery. We were taken aback because it was something we could not afford.

We felt so helpless for our daughter and thought why this happened with her. When we told the specialist about our problem, he told us to consider the surgery from pediatric end stage heart failure surgery in India. He said that the medical facility in that country was high-quality and it was much more affordable. This gave us some hope and I started searching for ventricular assist device surgery options in India. During my search, I came across a company called Indian Healthguru consultants. Their services attracted my attention because they also helped in managing all the visas and local travel for the patients. I called them to get more details and was greeted by a young-sounding woman. She heard me patiently for several minutes and said that her company can help my daughter find the right surgeon. I enquired about the surgery costs and found out that it was only a fraction of what it costs in our country i.e. it was cost-saving pediatric heart failure surgery in India. This gave me a huge relief.

I also asked her the following questions:

  • Is my child’s heart problem fully treatable?
  • How are you going to help us?
  • Is there any non-surgical treatment option?

I asked many other questions but don’t remember the others. She asked me to send the reports of my daughter to her, which I did. Then she asked us to wait for a day or two before she gets the specialist's opinion. After 2 days, I received her call and she responded to my questions with the following answers:

  • We have shown Zofia’s reports to the top 10 pediatric cardiac surgeons in India. All have concluded that a ventricular assist device is the only treatment option. And all these doctors have said that the chances of success are very high.
  • We at Indian health guru are not just going to help you find the best surgeon and best hospitals for pediatric cardiac surgery in India for your child’s surgery, but also make it possible for you to visit India. We handle your medical visa, local travels, and accommodations. We have been doing this for years with success.
  • As I mentioned earlier, all the doctors have come to the conclusion that such surgery is the only treatment option.

She further told us that Zofia had a very high chance of having a successful congenital heart failure surgery in India and leading a healthy life after that. All these words from her made me feel so better. It was the first time after the diagnosis that I had some good hope and thoughts. The coordinator asked me to let her know if I was ready for the surgery in India. I didn’t have to think much about it, so I told her that very moment about my decision. I told her we were certainly ready to come to India and we wanted the surgery to be as early as possible. She said, ‘alright, I will send you the names and details of the surgeons and you will have first to choose a surgeon before we proceed.’

She sent me the details of 4 top surgeons, and I went through the list with my husband. I found Dr. Z S Meharwal expert pediatric heart failure surgeon in India, to be the most impressive in the list because of his vast experience and very high success rate. The coordinator agreed to our conclusion and told us to prepare for our journey to India while she would make the rest of the arrangement. Soon all our family and friends came to our help and told us to go to India and give our daughter the best treatment and not worry about the finances. We were so relieved with all the support and the fact that we found the right place for our child’s treatment.

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The Indian health guru consultants called me after 2 days and gave me a date in February 2016 as the apportionment date with Dr. Z. S. Meharwal Best Heart Failure Surgeon New Delhi. So we visited India and there was someone to pick up and drop us throughout our stay. We were picked up from the airport and dropped at our hotel. The next day we visited the doctor and were immediately enchanted by his wisdom and knowledge. He received us so courteously and was so good towards Zofia. After the initial consultation, we realized that we had found the perfect surgeon. My husband and I asked him about our child’s heart problem. So far no other doctor had explained it in detail to us. Dr. Meharwal explained it in details to us.

He said the following, ‘Zofia has congenital heart disease. It is a common problem affecting around 1 in 100 newborns. The problem should have been detected early on but it was not done for some reason. Now she is 2 years old and it has become worse with time. The condition was not detected earlier probably because of the general lack of guidelines in managing heart failure in children. Still, it is not too late and ventricular assist device procedure can give your child a new lease of life. If Zofia’s condition was detected earlier, it could have been treated with inhibition of diuretics and angiotensin-converting enzyme. But now surgery is the only treatment option. But you should not worry about it because it is useful and most children make it successful. Another alternative is a heart transplant, but finding a donor can take too long. So a transplant is not an option due to the end-stage level. It can take a long time to find a matching heart. Today ventricular assist device technology has become highly advanced. Earlier this technology was meant for short-term heart support until a transplantation heart was found. But now these devices can provide long-term treatment. He further told us that ventricular assist device helps improve both qualities of life and survival rate. It works by restoring the normal blood flow of the heart that has become weaker over time.

This made us feel so much better when he talked about the high survival rate. We were also relieved that we were just in time for the surgery of our daughter; otherwise it may have been too late. The doctor wrote some tests to be conducted on that very day. This included ECG, scanning, echocardiogram, and blood tests. The doctor asked us to get Zofia admitted to the hospital and the surgery was set for the next day. During this time we also received a call from the Indian health guru consultants. She further explained some details about the procedure so that we could be fully ready.

She told us that the surgery will involve anesthesia followed by open-heart surgery. It can take from 4 hours to 6 hours to complete. Your child will remain under the effect of the anesthesia and will not know anything. A ventilator will ensure that she keeps breathing properly. The ventilator may also be required for days after the surgery. A heart-lung bypass machine will be used to ensure that the blood will keep getting the oxygen. The ventricular assist device will be implanted into the heart depending on the location. It will deliver blood to the aorta. There will also be a battery pack and control unit for the device. She also told us not to worry because of the end-stage heart failure surgery success rate in India of Dr. Meharwal and his team.

My daughter was taken to the surgery room early in the morning. The surgery took almost 5 hours to complete and we were so impatient. Once it was complete, she was taken to the intensive care unit. After the surgery, we had a long discussion with the doctor. He said that Zofia would be kept in the ICU for a few days before being moved to her room. It will be required to give food in the form of fluids for the first few days. Tubes will also be required to be fixed to the heart for removing fluids. She would be kept under constant monitoring by the team to detect and prevent any infection. He also told us that she will be kept on the ventilator because the lungs don’t usually start working properly right after the procedure.

My daughter stayed in the ICU for a whole week before being moved to a room in the hospital. We were relieved when the doctor told us that she was now safe, and there was no infection. Once she was in the room we could stay with her all the time, which was not possible in the ICU. The nurses and other specialists helped Zofia stay regularly active. They regularly came to help her sit up and walk around. We were surprised to see her walk after the surgery. There was a physical therapist who came regularly and required her to engage in daily activities and certain movements to increase her strength. The team also provided us regularinstructions on how to take care of the device. We always kept repeating the same questions and they were always ready to explain the same things again and again. They also kept telling us about nutrition after we return home.

Once my daughter was ready to leave the hospital, we had another long discussion with Dr. Meharwal. He prescribed us medicines that needed to be taken for a long time. He told us that these medicines would prevent any risk of complications like infections. We stayed in the hospital for almost a month. The doctor then told us that Zofia was strong enough to travel back to Poland. He gave his personal contact number and asked us to call him anytime we needed help. He also told us to visit the heart specialist in our country on a regular basis. We were so happy to have found such a Good Heart Surgeon. He certainly had a very good heart himself. He said that my daughter should wait for at least 2 more months before going back to school. However, she could not engage in sports activities but only light activities.

We also received a call from the Indian health guru consultants. I remember that I kept thanking her again and again. She repeated some of the same instructions that the doctor gave us. This showed how knowledgeable she was about the procedure and recovery. She also told us to call her for any future assistance or issues. Before we left, we thanked everyone including the team that took care of Zofia in the hospital, the person who picked and dropped us during our stay, and the team that worked to make this possible.

Once we were back in Poland, everyone in my family was so happy. They all thought this to be nothing less than a miracle. We visited the heart specialist we visited earlier in Krakow. He was also surprised by the results. He told us that usually, the success rate of such surgery in Poland was not very good. He told us that he was amazed by the quality of the surgery. He read Dr. Meharwal’s prescription and reports and told us to visit once every 2 weeks to check my daughter’s condition. He told us to follow the prescriptions carefully and ensure timely medications. It will also be required to take regular blood tests to monitor Zofia’s health.

It is now 2 years since the surgery and Zofia is healthy and active. She engages in light activities in her school, but not in sports. All her classmates are so attentive and careful towards her. And everyone in the neighborhood pays special attention to her. We are so happy to have found the angels who helped us save our daughter’s life. Once we returned to Poland, Indian health guru consultantswere in regular contact with us.

I cannot imagine what would have happened if we didn’t find this company. We had never traveled outside Europe and didn’t know how things would turn out in India, a faraway country that we didn’t know anything about. In addition, there was all that complication about getting the visas and managing our local travels and stay. Everything was taken care of by Indian health guru consultants. They took care of everything and we never had to face the complications associated with the travels. All we had to do was to take the flight and see the doctor.

So that is my story, and I am thankful to all these angels. All of them were so dedicated to supporting and guiding us. It is the combined effort of everyone involved that helped us save our daughter’s life. We could have never imagined how this could have happened with our daughter. It was a shock to us that it happened. But there were angels on earth to see us through it and save our child with successful congenital heart failure surgery in India.

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