ARIJIT – THREE YEAR OLD AND UNDERGONE TWO HEART OPERATIONS, ONE MORE TO GO
Three year old Arijit, a precious child born to Anup and Rakhee, from a remote village, Bahara in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal, needed an urgent heart surgery to survive. Anup and Rakhee are from an agricultural background, working as daily labourers on others land. Work is only seasonal and Anup is the only one to support his family, consisting of his aged parents, wife and this Child. His brother who is an auto driver in a nearby town, and his family also live with them. Arijit was born a blue baby, and Anup and Rakhee were told that their child’s heart was deformed with holes and no proper connections and the blood going to the lungs was very little. To correct this he needed two or three serial operations. The first operation was needed immediately. But seeing the complexity of the operation they were asked to seek help in the big hospitals in Kolkata. When they approached hospitals in Kolkata, the cost of the surgery was humongous for them to bear, and they went from pillar to post till they learned about the possibility of help and successful surgery, at Columbia Asia Hospital Sarjapur, Bangalore, from another beneficiary. So they approached Dr Joseph Xavier the cardiac surgeon who operated him successfully once in July 2019 at the age of 9 months and then again in now in September 2021. The operation was partly funded by Needy Heart Foundation.
“The boy was very blue and distressed, crying continuously and feeding poorly, because very little blood entered his lungs and the oxygen level in his blood was very low at 60%. We had to do an operation where we placed a synthetic tube to deliver more blood to the lungs, as the first stage of correcting his problem. He was supposed to come back to us after a year, but could not do so because of the pandemic situation. And when he arrived now, he had out grown the efficacy of the tube operation, and the blood vessels to the lung had not grown enough to correct the whole problem, so we decided to do a not so often done operation, where we created a valved passage from the right ventricle of the heart to allow impure blood flowing into the heart to pass into the lung, but the defect (hole) in the heart was left open to adequately decompress the right heart. He will need yet another surgery after 1 or 2 years to completely restore the heart like a normally functioning heart”, says Dr Joseph.