Congenital Heart Defects Could Not Slow Down A 14-Year-Old Girl from Afghanistan - Medx Health Assistance

Congenital Heart Defects Could Not Slow Down A 14-Year-Old Girl from Afghanistan

Born with a congenital heart defect called Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), Neelab already went through a lot. In PDA, there is an opening between the two major vessels leading from the heart, leading to the malfunctioning. She underwent complex heart surgery at the age of 13 to repair the PDA and recover from the same. The surgery went well at a super specialty hospital in India. Neelab started school too. 

Her mother said, “Neelab is a bright girl. She is strong and responded well to the surgery. We thought now we can be a little relaxed and see her grow normally. We were supposed to visit the doctors in India for a follow-up consultation as per the plan of care”. But just before the scheduled travel Neelab was not keeping well. She used to feel tired and exhausted. Her parents were worried and were hoping that it was not a major issue.

Support by the MedX Health Assistant

Neelab was in discomfort, so her parents decided to consult the specialist Cardiac Surgeon at Fortis hospital, India. They reached out to the MedX health assistant. The MedX team’s specialty is that they don’t leave the patients just after their treatment and maintain a good relation with them. The MedX team was already prepared, and they preponed the follow-up visit of Neelab with her parents to India. All the travel and accommodation requirements were managed on time. 

Neelab’s father said, “We are always thankful to the MedX team for their prompt action. They were always there when we needed them the most. If Neelab is talking and walking on her own today is because of the support provided by them and the specialist doctors in India. We hope and pray that Neelab’s health problems will end soon.”

The Treatment plan in India 

After they arrived in India, Neelab was admitted under Cardiac surgeon Dr. Sandeep Attawar and Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Manvinder Singh. Neelab was admitted for further evaluation, management, and follow-up for her previous PDA closure surgery. On thorough examination and diagnostic investigations like ECG and Echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with severe Aortic Stenosis with Subaortic Membrane and Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. 

Subaortic Stenosis is an anatomic defect in which the area just below the aortic valve of the left ventricle is obstructed by excess tissue or Subaortic membrane, reducing blood flow in the body. Although classified as a congenital heart defect, it’s rarity at birth and during infancy, it’s progressive course, and it’s high postoperative recurrence rate suggest that it may be an acquired condition. Left ventricular hypertrophy is a thickening of the wall of the heart’s main pumping chamber.

As per the investigations report and diagnosis, under the expert team of surgeons Neelab underwent surgery to remove the subaortic membrane. 


The surgery was done under general anesthesia. The surgery lasted for two hours. Her parents were wrecked and counting minutes to see their daughter smile again. Neelab is a strong girl; she responded well to the surgery. She was kept on mechanical ventilation and was shifted to the pediatric ICU for constant observation. She was closely monitored for the heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure. She was started on inotropic agents, a type of medication that affects heart muscle contraction. After a day of observation in the ICU, Neelab was shifted to the pediatric ward. It was an emotional ride for her parents to see her go through so much. They touched her bandaged chest and prayed to god to make her healthy soon. 

She was examined post-operatively, and it was found that Neelab was hemodynamically stable and symptomatically better. Her heart was functioning well; therefore, it was planned to discharge her from the hospital. Post the discharge; they stayed for a week at the accommodation in the vicinity of the hospital for follow-up consultations and check-ups. Doctors said that Neelab needs four to six weeks of healing before she can go back to her normal routine. Her recovery was dependent on the time of wound healing. She consulted Dr. Manvinder Singh after the three days of her discharge from the hospital, and her chest X-ray was done. Her wounds were healing at a normal rate, and there were no worrisome signs. Her parents were given detailed instructions at the time of discharge to take care of her wound and other precautions that would help her recover fast.

Life After the Treatment

Neelab’s parents followed all the instructions properly as suggested by the doctors. They were told to clean her surgery incision wound regularly to avoid any infection. She had to take enough rest and avoid exertive physical activities. Eat a nutritious and balanced diet. She was also given a breathing exercise plan. She had to use coordinated breathing during activity. She was asked to maintain an ideal weight and limit the sodium intake. After six weeks of the recovery period, Neelab was supposed to consult the local cardiologist and undergo investigations such as 2D Echo, ECG, Chest X-ray, and complete blood test. Her reports were normal and were shared with the doctors at the Fortis hospital. 

Today, Neelab is back to her normal life. She plays with her friends and siblings and wants to become a doctor when she grows up. Her mother said, “We finally had a sigh of relief and happiness after a prolonged struggle. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your child is healthy and happy. We are still cautious and continue the precautions suggested by the doctors. It is like Neelab has got a new lease on life. All thanks to the specialist doctors and medical staff in India and above all, the coordination and support provided by the MedX team.” 

The MedX team has continued their follow-up with Neelab and keeps checking her. Her current health condition and reports are constantly being shared with Dr. Sandeep Attawar and Dr. Manvinder Singh in Gurgaon, India. The MedX team has also arranged for a recreational trip for Neelab and her parents to India.

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