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Tanzanian Patient’s Affordable Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Tanzanian Patient Affordable Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Pediatric Heart Surgery- Dr. K. S. Iyer

They say that your child is your heart and watching her running around is like watching your heart running around in front of you. But when something happens to the heart of your child, there is nothing more devastating. But thanks to everyone who got involved, my daughter is today healthy after her Pediatric Heart Surgery in India. Today, she is 10 years old, healthy and her doctor saysshe has a great future.

All of you must be thinking who I am and what is my story? I am Beatriz from Tanzania, and my daughter is Catherine. She was 4 years old when her doctor told us that there was something wrong with her heart. My daughter had been sick and we took her to a paediatrician. After her checkup, the doctor asked us if my daughter had any congenital problems after birth. I told him that there was no such thing reported by the doctors after my daughter’s birth. The doctor asked us to get an ECG. When I asked him why my young daughter needed an ECG, the doctor told me that he heard a heart murmur during the checkup.

I asked him what was wrong with a heart murmur. He asked me to wait, and after the ECG report came, he told me that my daughter had an atrial septal defect. I didn’t know what it meant, but it made me numb from head to toe. I don’t know how I sat there listening to him and didn’t faint. He was explaining it to me but my mind had shut down.

All I remember is that he asked us to prepare for my daughter’s heart surgery. When I came to my senses, I heard my wife asking him about alternatives. She said that there were none. We left his office and came back home. When everyone in our family and friends came to know about it, they all were so supportive of us. Everyone said that we should not worry and surgery will fix the problem. We made another visit to the doctor and he asked us to see a pediatric heart surgeon.

When we visited this specialist, she told us that there was no other option but surgery. She explained the problem with my daughter’s heart in detail. The murmuring sound from your child’s heart that was noticed by the other doctor comes from the pulmonary valve area. It is because the heart is passing big amount of blood through this valve. There are 4 different chambers in the heart. The upper 2 chambers are called atria and they are separated by a wall. Your daughter was born with a hole in this wall. She also said that this is the most common type of heart defect, and it can be fixed with surgery.

By this time, my wife was talking about the success rate of this surgery instead of finding options to avoid it. I was still numb in the mind and was unable to speak. The surgeon also told us that if the problem is not corrected, it can increase the risk of congestive heart failure and many other heart issues in the future. But the cost of such surgery was huge in our country. She was a good surgeon and told us to look for our options in a country like India, where quality medical care was available at many affordable prices.

Once we returnedhome, I started searching online for Pediatric Heart Surgeons in India. There were so many profiles to check through, and I could not understand how to arrange everything. This was when I came across a company called Indian Health Guru the medical service provider. They claimed that they could help me with everything required to travel to India and get the required surgery. I called them and asked them if they can help me with my daughter’s surgery. After they learned about my concern, they assigned a specialized coordinator to me. She asked me to share the reports with her.

I asked her the following questions:

  • What kind of services do you provide?
  • Is there any non-surgical treatment for my daughter’s condition?
  • Does she need only one surgery or more?

There were even more questions that I don’t remember now. She listened calmly to my questions and answered with the following:

  • We will help you find the Best surgeons in India. We will also make all the arrangements for you to travel to India and stay during the time your daughter receives the treatment.
  • We will have to consult the surgeons to find out what treatment options are available for your daughter.
  • Again, we will confirm this in a day after checking with the surgeons.

The next day I received a call from the coordinator. She told me the reports were shared with Top 10 Pediatric Cardiac Surgeons in India. All of them confirmed that surgery was required. She also told me that only a single surgery will be required to fix my daughter’s heart problem. Although this gave me some relief, the question of my daughter getting surgery was still a big concern for my wife and me. I told her that we needed some time to plan everything. She said that ‘yes you should take your time to plan and consider all your options.

The next day, she sent us a list of Top 10 Pediatric Cardiac Surgeons in India. She asked me to choose any of these doctors based on my preferences. We went through the profiles and found it select one. Everyone was so qualified and experienced and had handled so many surgeries with very high success rates. When faced with this dilemma, I called the coordinator and asked her, ‘Which doctor out of these is the best?’ She saidthat all of these are Best pediatric heart surgeons in India who come among the most reputed and accomplishedspecialists in pediatric heart surgery. You can choose any of them and you will not go wrong with your decision. Eventually, my wife and I considered Dr. K. S. Iyer Best Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon in India and informed this to our coordinator.

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I was in regular touch with the coordinator for the next few weeks. During this time, I began feeling confident about this company and the coordinator. Planning the surgery meant that we had to take our daughter’s leave from school. My wife had a small store and she had to make arrangements for her staff to take over some responsibilities. Eventually, we were ready and had everything in place. We confirmed to our coordinator that we were ready to visit India for the surgery. She told me that she would take care of the medical visa and the local travel and stay. That was the difficult part and she assured us not to worry about anything.

She gave us an appointment in May of 2015 to meet Dr.Iyer Best Cardiac Surgeons New Delhi. We travelled to India and were surprised by how pleasant everyone was and how we were received. There was a courteous, professionally dressed man who received us at the airport. He drove us everywhere we needed to go. Our hotel was less than 30 minutes from the airport. When we arrived at the airport, our India health guru groupcoordinator called us and enquired about our journey. The next day we met Dr. Iyer. We found him to be courteous, calm, and someone who listened attentively to us. He worked at one of the Top Hospitals for pediatric cardiac surgery in India.

Once we had told him everything, we asked the following questions:

  • What are the risks associated with our daughter’s heart surgery?
  • How long it will take before he can return to school?
  • Will this surgery fix his condition for the long-term?

The doctor listened carefully to us and then replied:

  • This surgery has the usual risks that every type of heart surgery has. But with modern systems available, you will not have to worry about anything. We have a large team of specialists to ensure that everything goes fine.
  • Your daughter can start working after a few days of the surgery. He should be able to get back to his normal routine within 5 to 6 weeks.
  • You will not have to worry about any future complications. This surgery will fix the problem for once.

All this gave us so much peace of mind. Even when it made us so sad that our child had to go through this surgery, we felt assured that she will be fine after this. The doctor asked us to get a few tests and scans for the day and asked us to come the next day. The next day we arrived, he shared the reports with us and said that it was important that he told us completely about the procedure.

So he told us the following when explaining what my daughter’s surgery would include. The surgery will include the use of an advanced and proven system known as the heart-lung bypass machine. We will make an incision at the sternum after general anaesthesia is given. Your child will not know any pain. The blood will be passed through the machine. It will add oxygen to the blood and ensure that it is warm and moves through the body. In other words, the machine will work as your child’s temporary heart and we will be working on repairing his actual heart.

When he explained this process, I realized that it was so simple. Once the repair was complete, the heart will be restarted using the medicine and the machine will be removed. Your daughter will have to spend 3 to 4 days in the hospital and then you can go to your hotel. You can then return to your home country in 1 or 2 weeks after we conduct some checkups and confirm. All this sounded simple to my wife and me.

So he asked us to have our daughter admitted the next day. Once admitted, they gave some injections to my daughter and kept him under monitoring for the next 24 hours. Then Dr. Iyer confirmed that the surgery would be done the next day. Finally, the moment came for us and as parents, we found it difficult to go through it. But our coordinator at Indian Health Guru consultants called us and said that there was nothing for us to worry about. She said that Dr. Iyer has done thousands of such surgeries and he is havinga high Success rate of Pediatric Cardiac surgery in India. You can have complete peace of mind about the surgery. This made us feel better.

The next day they dressed and took my daughter into the surgery room. The surgery took one and a half hours and the doctor came out and told us that it was a success and there was nothing for us to worry about. We thanked God and the doctor. Once our daughter came out of the anesthesia’s effect, she didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. The doctor told us that she had been given medications to prevent any pain. This soothed us because we didn’t want her to feel any pain.

She stayed in the facility for the next 4 days. She began eating light food and became normal. A therapist came every day to help my daughter to do some activities. She got discharged on the fifth day and we went back to the hotel. The doctor asked us to have our daughter walk and do some basic activities as long as he was there. Our coordinator was in constant touch with us and enquired about our daughter’s health. She also asked us about our stay and facilities and if we needed any help.

We stayed in India for 2 more weeks to give our daughter enough time to heal. Before we departed we met Dr. Iyer and had a long discussion with him. He told us to go for regular monthly checkups with the surgeon we met in our country. Your daughter should be able to get back to school in the next 3 or 4 weeks. Now you don’t have to worry about anything. He also provided us with a set of instructions to take care of our daughter. In fact, he got a nurse to type and print the information so that we don’t forget it. We were so thankful to have found such a good specialist who cared for their patients.

He also instructed us about things to be prevented, both in the near and far away future. He told us to prevent any kind of blow, even mild one, to the chest. The activity should be limited until the doctor will confirm full recovery. All the instruction was printed and given to us to be followed strictly. He also gave us his contact number and told us to reach out if and when we had any queries. He also asked us to get our doctor in Tanzania to call him once we were back home. This was so unique. We had never met such a doctor.

Before we left, we also had a long talk with our coordinator. She helped us with everything and made it possible for our daughter to go to India and get treated. I told her that I could not be thankful enough to her and her team. She made all the arrangements for our medical visas, and local stay and travels. It was only because of the company that we were able to find the right doctor for our daughter’s surgery.

When we returned to Tanzania, we were all so happy that our daughter’s surgery was done successfully and that she was back to normal. We visited the surgeon that we met and who recommended us to seek treatment in India. She was amazed when she saw us and learned about how much the surgery cost us. She checked all the reports and then called Dr. Iyerin India. Both of them talked for a long time. Then she told us that everything was fine and normal and our daughter would recover fast.

We asked her when our daughter can go back to school. She told us to come for a checkup every week and she will recommend after a few checkups. Still, you should expect her to be back in school after a month. She also instructed us to have our daughter engage in a number of activities at home to speed up the healing process. As the weeks passed by, she told us that our daughter was healing fast and everything was perfect. We were so happy to hear this. After a month, she asked us to have our daughter go back to school. First I accompanied her to school and waited outside until she came out. This followed for a few days but her teachers told me that they would take complete care of her and I could go home and should not worry.

Another month passed, and the doctor increased the number of activities of my daughter. After a year, she was allowed to participate in sports. The doctor told us to avoid exhaustion. So we kept him to sports activities that didn’t require too much running or exhaustion. Now it has been 4 years since my daughter’s surgery and she is a healthy and beautiful young girl. I cannot ask for anything more than her health and long life. The doctor says that he is fully healed and she will grow into a healthy many without any risk of heart problems.

We are thankful to everyone who got involved and helped with the surgery and healing of our daughter. It is not easy for any parent to bear the news of a heart defect in our child. But when you have the right people to guide you, things can become much easier.Now my wife andI spend almost all my time around my daughter and still I can’t feel like taking my eyes off him. We were very strict in following the instructions given by Dr. Iyer. And I believe that it played a big role in helping my daughter heal and recover properly.

My doctor in Tanzaniatold me that you have found the right surgeon for your daughter. Usually, with such surgeries, there can be some complications after the surgery. For example, some children can have inflammation around the heart. It can be caused by the buildup of fluid around the heart. But the surgery was done so well in your daughter’s case that no complication was there. And the healing process was also fast. This again made me feel so better about our decision to seek Pediatric Heart Surgery in India.

It has been four years since the surgery and I cannot thank the Indian health guru, the medical service provider consultants, Dr. Iyer and the doctor in my country, all the nurses and other specialists who contributed to my daughter’s wellbeing. Now our family is happy that I can see my heart run around in front of me playing and living a healthy life.

 
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