When 4-year-old child Hemant Naik, whose family lives in a Mumbai slum area in Ghatkopar, required a complex heart surgery, RC Mumbai Ghatkopar, RID 3141, referred him to RC Bombay, which has an ongoing global grant to fund children’s heart surgery. “The child was referred to the Kokilaben Ambani Hospital for a complex heart surgery; he had already undergone four balloon procedures and an open heart surgical procedure at the Wadia Hospital earlier,” says past president and director in charge of global grants for RC Bombay, V K Jatia.
The child was born with a very complicated heart disorder which required intervention in several stages. This was a very complicated surgery with high risk. The parents were explained the risks before surgery and counselled. DGE Sandip Agarwalla (RID 3141), a member of RC Bombay, explains that this child was born with a complex condition known as the hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). “If left on their own without treatment, such babies won’t survive. The left side of the heart can’t be fixed, so the goal of the surgeries is to rebuild parts of the heart and ‘redirect’ the way the blood flows.”
Jatia adds that the child was due for the last surgery in the series, which is known as the Fontan procedure. “Children get this after the Glenn procedure, usually when they are 18 to 36 months old. In the Fontan procedure, which is a type of open-heart surgery, the goal is to make blood from the lower part of the body go directly to the lungs. This lets the blood pick up oxygen without having to pass through the heart.”
In babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, low-oxygen blood from the lower part of the body mixes with high-oxygen blood. After the Fontan procedure, low-oxygen blood and high-oxygen blood no longer mix. This lets the heart deliver only high-oxygen blood to the body, he adds.
Thanking RC Mumbai Ghatkopar for referring the child Hemant to them, and Rotary Ann Natasha Sejpal of RC Mumbai Lakers for coordinating the entire process, Jatia said, “We were all very relieved to learn that all our efforts have borne fruit; the surgery was successful and the child has gone home.”
The cost of surgery — around ₹2.75 lakh was given from RC Bombay’s GG, and additional expenses for pre-operative check-up and PPE kits etc amounting to ₹40,000 were borne by the parents.
Jatia adds that RC Bombay has so far sponsored 270 paediatric heart surgeries, spending a total of ₹2.36 crore, in hospitals in Mumbai as well as the Haria Rotary Hospital in Vapi, Gujarat.