Children from Rwanda get a new lease of life

Children from Rwanda get a new lease of life

It’s hard to imagine that till just a few months ago, these seven children from faraway Rwanda couldn’t play or lead a normal life.

They suffered from bouts of breathlessness, chest pain and other complications due to their rheumatic heart disease. Today, as they left for their homes in Rwanda, they were all smiles, playing around like normal kids.

The children, six of  them girls, were successfully operated upon free of cost at Fortis Hospital in Mohali near here under a project of the Rotary Club, Chandigarh. Past Rotary International president Rajendra K Saboo, who initiated the Heartline Project along with district governor of Rotary district from Rwanda Jean Runuya, gave the kids a touching farewell with prayers for a healthy life ahead.

A team of doctors under Dr T S Mahant performed all the heart surgeries to give these children a new lease of life.

Dr Mahant, Executive Director, CTVS, Fortis Hospital Mohali said the children suffered from a serious condition termed as rheumatic heart disease which often requires repair or replacement of heart valves.

“Such children can’t play, walk or do normal activities due to breathlessness, chest pain, heart palpitations, etc. The valve-replacement surgeries were long and complicated yet successful and we are happy that these children would be able to lead happy and healthy lives,” Dr Mahant said.

Paramjit Singh, president of the club said the children had come for treatment on January 30 and were operated at the hospital in Mohali.

Rajendra K Saboo said the club has been able to save lives of 546 children, which included several children from abroad.

All this had been made possible from donations by individuals and organisations to support the cost of the surgery which is shared by the club’s partner hospitals, PGIMER and the Fortis Hospital Mohali. Out of the 546 children saved under the project, there had been 30 from Rwanda, 15 each from Malawi and Nepal, 34 from Pakistan, seven from Uganda, five from Nigeria, two from Afghanistan, and one from Iraq.

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