Indonesian children undergo heart surgery at Jayadeva

Last Updated 30 August 2014, 19:20 IST

They are about five years old and were operated upon for their cardiac ailments. And they took doctors by surprise when they did not shed a single tear, neither while getting injected nor while being operated upon.

This was the case with all the five Indonesian children, aged between two and seven, who were operated upon for their congenital heart ailments at Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research (JICSR) in the City, earlier this month.

Addressing a press conference in the City on Saturday, Dr C N Manjunath, Director JICSR, said that this was unusual.

“Usually, at the very sight of injection, children cry and it becomes tough to keep them in one place. In this case, we were so happy as the children did not cry even when they were injected nor did they cause any trouble when in the intensive care unit,” he added.

Susan, an Indonesian resident, who had accompanied the patients as a translator said that a majority of the children were from Medan. She said “These children were told that they would feel better after the operation. That is the reason why they did not cry.”

“Most of them work in rubber plantations or are farmers. They belong to the lower middle class and could not afford treatment at Malaysia. Thus, they chose India,” she added.

Dr Manjunath said that out of 1000 babies that are born across the world, three to five of them have complex congenital diseases, and more commonly, in the form of Tetralogy of Fallot, Heart Holes or narrowing of valves.

These children were referred to the hospital through the Needy Heart Foundation and Rotary International. Dr Manjunath said that these children were initially screened in Indonesia and later, a possibility of having them treated at Malaysia was examined.

“However, considering the complication of the cases and also the cost factor involved, they chose to come here,” he said.

Four out of these five children had complex problems. While the surgeries would cost them anywhere between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 50 lakh back home, it was done at a subsidised rate of Rs one lakh here, according to the director. A team of doctors headed by Dr P S Seetharama Bhat, Jayaranganath and Dr A M Jagadeesh performed these surgeries.

(Published 30 August 2014, 19:17 IST)

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