Having a healthy child these days is every parent’s biggest wish. However, this does not always hold, and often many infants are born with congenital disorders. The baby looks fine at the birth, but in a few days, the issues begin; the same happened with a 2-year-old cute little girl Hosna from Afghanistan. Hosna had several episodes of breathlessness on and off since birth. She used to get bluish discoloration or cyanosis around her lips, face, and fingers when she cried.
One day she was breathing heavily, and her heart rate raised; her worried parents took her to the local doctor. The doctors analyzed and examined her. They told that Hosna has some congenital heart defect due to which she is having all those health issues. They were advised to consult a specialized cardiologist, and she would need heart surgery to repair the defects in her heart.
Her parents were devastated; Hosna’s father said, “It was like everything went blank; we had no idea what to do now. I was ready to turn every stone upside down to provide my child with the best possible treatment she needs urgently. I was mentally prepared that we might have to go to some other country for Hosna’s treatment as the healthcare facility in Afghanistan is not so advanced. The thought that such a small baby will undergo a complex heart surgery gave us sleepless nights!”
Support by The MedX Health Assistant
Hosna’s parents were consulting with different doctors, and in their research, they came across the medical tourism possibilities. They were asked to contact the MedX Health Assistant by a friend. The MedX team helped them to consult a specialist pediatric cardiologist from Fortis hospital, Gurgaon, India. Her local test reports and chief complaints were shared over a video consultation. Renowned Cardiac surgeon Dr. Sandeep Attawar and Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Manvinder Singh advised them to visit India for further evaluation and management.
Without any further delay, the MedX team actively arranged the medical Visa, other travel requirements, and Hosna’s parents’ accommodation in the hospital’s vicinity. They were also provided with the local sim and a language interpreter.
The Treatment Plan in India
Hosna with her parents arrived in India, and the MedX team arranged their pick up from the airport. Hosna was admitted at the Fortis Medical Research Institute, Gurgaon, India, under Dr. Sandeep Attawar. She was evaluated in detail, and she underwent diagnostic investigations like ECG and Echocardiogram. The investigation results revealed that the left side of her heart was poorly developed. Due to the poor development, her heart had to do excessive work to pump oxygen-rich blood to the body.
Her condition is referred to as Mitral atresia, in which the mitral valve of the heart does not develop correctly. When atresia occurs, blood from the heart’s left atrium does not flow to the left ventricle, causing the left ventricle to become small and underdeveloped. Hypoplastic Left Ventricle and Double outlet right ventricle in which the aorta connects to the right ventricle (the chamber of the heart that pumps oxygen-poor blood to the lungs), instead of to the left ventricle (the chamber that normally pumps oxygen-rich blood to the body).
The surgeons’ expert team planned that Hosna undergoes a surgery called Bidirectional Glenn or a BD Glenn. The Glenn procedure is a type of open-heart surgery. In this procedure, the blood from the upper part of the body (the head, neck, and arms) is made to go directly to the lungs. This lets the blood pick up oxygen without passing through the heart and takes some extra work away from the right ventricle. Hosna was kept on mechanical ventilation during the surgery.
After the surgery, Hosna was kept in the ICU for observation. She was still on mechanical ventilation, and her medications were started. She was on inotropic agents, which are a type of medicine that affects the heart muscles’ contraction. After a day of monitoring in the ICU, Hosna was shifted to the pediatric ward. She was managed on medications in the ward. Hosna responded well to the surgery and was stable with no major complaints postoperatively.
Hosna underwent a post-operative Echocardiogram to check the condition of the shunt or BD Glenn. It was found that the BD Glenn was functioning well, and her left and the right ventricle were working well too. Hosna was symptomatically better, and seeing her improvement; it was decided that she will be discharged after three days of the surgery. Since the healing of wounds on the incision area in her chest was the most important thing, her parents were given a detailed instruction plan on managing the wound.
Hosna was discharged, and they were asked to stay at the accommodation near the hospital for one more week for the follow-up consultations.
Life After the Treatment
Everyone recovers at a different rate; it was told to Hosna’s parents that she would need about four to six weeks of healing before returning to a normal routine. At the time of discharge, Hosna’s parents were given the instructions and precautions they need to take for her wound. Hosna was asked to enough rest and slowly started the physical activities. She had to take a balanced diet to remain healthy. It was very critical that her incision wound on the chest was cleaned and washed regularly, an ointment was provided. It was also instructed to consult a cardiologist in case of breathing issues or an emergency.
Today, Hosna is doing fine. She has recovered completely. She loves to play and run around. Her parents are happy to see her growing normally like the other kids of her age. Her father said, “We don’t have enough words to thank the MedX team and the expert doctors in India. It all feels like a miracle. As parents, we are happy and feel blessed to see Hosna enjoying the childhood she deserves. She will soon start going to school. We will visit India again but for a vacation soon.”