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Third Time’s The Charm!
(Story of how winning battles won the war)
Suraj Khan, a 12-year-old boy was born to parents Ranjit Khan and Alpana Khan. His father, Ranjit
Khan is a farmer who earns around Rs.3000 per month which is not enough to support his family. Alpana khan is a housewife and does whatever possible to support the family. Suraj is in 7th grade and his brother Shilpa is in 10th grade.
A Bengali schedule caste family barely getting through each day, were struck by thunder when Suraj was diagnosed with a Double Open Right Ventricle (DORV) plus a Ventricle Septal Defect
(VS D) which was a very complex heart condition.It would have put his life at great risk, if not treated immediately. But for a family at the brink of poverty, finding a way to accumulate funds was tough. What was harder was to find a hospital willing to undertake such a high-risk surgery. They traveled to Bengaluru visiting various hospitals in hopes that someone would agree.
This was when Needy Heart Foundation entered. They got in touch with Fortis Hospital in Bengaluru. Dr. Joseph Xavier decided to be Suraj’s surgeon and to perform the high-risk surgery.
But it took at lot of effort to convince Ranjit and Alpana because that was how critical the surgery was. With a lot of persuasion, they finally agreed for the surgery. Through the assistance of Needy Heart Foundation and also the staff of Fortis Hospital, they gathered the funds required for the surgery.
(Suraj Khan with Ranjit Khan and Alapna Khan)
This was only half of the first battle which was won.During this whole time, Ranjit and Alpana who accompanies him in Bengaluru found it extremely tough to spare some money for themselves. They could barely have a proper meal daily. Ranjit was advised to look for a local job to have some sort of income to support themselves.
What was ahead of Suraj, was something that tested his will power to the maximum. The first
surgery was in the year 2012 when a Blalock Taussig (BT) Shunt was carried out. Suraj could
not fully recover from this surgery. His condition worsened over time, he was stuck at the ICU
and had to undergo surgeries again. Suraj underwent quite a few CAT scans over a period of 2 weeks. He went through his third surgery and his heart weakened further. It was decided that a Pacemaker Implantation was the way to go. He then slowly fought through the recovery process and re-gained his health.
The prayers of the parents, all the staff and Suraj was finally answered. Ironically, the
strength Suraj had in him to win three hard fought battles at his age, shows how strong his
heart was, despite the weak condition.
The Needy Heart Foundation sustained the expenses of three surgeries and the Pacemaker implantation. This story surely leaves a question on our minds, “Are warriors found only
on the battlefield?”