Four children are recovering well after successful open‑heart surgeries by the international medical team at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.
A six‑year‑old girl can now look forward to running and playing freely because the defect in her heart that caused her to be easily out of breath has been eliminated through the surgery.
Shaniya Dutt, of Nausori, is now recovering with three other children who were successfully operated on.
Shaniya’s mother, Priya Dutt says she could not thank the amazing team of doctors and nurses enough, who operated on her daughter.
The Sai Prema Foundation, with assistance from its supporters and the Ministry of Health, organises the medical team’s visit as part its Gift of Life initiative.
Dutt, a divorcee and mother of two, said it is a huge relief, both emotionally and financially to her and her family that Shaniya’s condition has been cured as her heart condition meant she was often sick and could not engage in normal activities.
The international team comprises of 15 medical specialists and is led by Doctor Asish Katewa, who is the head surgeon at the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital of Raipur, India.
Doctor Katewa says all the surgeries have been smooth so far and that Shaniya’s surgery required four hours in theatre, which is about an hour more than usual because of its complexity.
He says that Shaniya’s heart defect is a condition that is generally presented immediately after birth.
Sai Prema Foundation Director, Sumeet Tappoo says the foundation was on hand at all times to ensure the international medical team received whatever support they need.
Tappoo says that the foundation is really humbled to have the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of these children as Fiji does not yet have the specialised surgeons to conduct these surgeries, nor the complementary clinical staff with the specialist support skills.
The team hopes to be able to treat 25 children with congenital heart defects before they return to their countries.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.