Empathy over enmity: Noida doctors treat Pakistani newborn with rare heart disease

The infant was just five days old when he was diagnosed with a heart disease called 'Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) -- a heart defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart as the foetus develops.   

Empathy over enmity: Noida doctors treat Pakistani newborn with rare heart disease
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New Delhi: Doctors at a hospital in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, treated a Pakistani infant, just four months old,  for a rare congenital heart disease.

Th baby boy, Rohaan, who hails from Lahore in Pakistan, was blessed with a new lease of life after doctors successfully treated him for the life-threatening heart disease.

The infant was just five days old when he was diagnosed with a heart disease called 'Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) -- a heart defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart as the foetus develops. 

His parents approached External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Twitter to get a medical visa. 

Rohaan was brought to Jaypee Hospital from Pakistan when he was just a month old and weighed just 2.1 kg. 

"Rohaan was suffering from rarest of the rare congenital heart disease. His life was at huge risk as the left side of his heart was critically underdeveloped," Rajesh Sharma, Director, Paediatric Cardiology Department, Jaypee Hospital, said in a statement on Thursday. 

"The pressure in his lungs used to shoot up very quickly. From the very first month Rohaan used to have heavy breathing and his weight was not increasing," Sharma added.

According to the doctors, Rohaan's blood flow from the right ventricle was rerouted to improve the oxygenated blood delivery to the vital organs by providing alternative source of pulmonary circulation. 

Post a 10-hour surgery, the baby was shifted to ICU where, after a few hours, his heart function deteriorated with slowing of heart and hypertension. 

Further, the doctors had to perform Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) -- a technique of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to patients whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange or perfusion to sustain life. 

"The baby was taken off the ECMO after five days and his chest was closed after his heart started functioning better as per 2-D echo analysis," Sharma explained. 

Baby Rohaan also developed breathing difficulty due to Tracheobronchomalacia (a condition where the cartilaginous structures of the airway walls in the trachea and bronchi are weak). 

Hence, a TRACHEOSTOMY was done to facilitate weaning that was removed after 15 days of the surgery and Rohaan was then shifted to the normal ward.

"One out of 1,000 children has such a critical heart disease which Rohaan was suffering from. Rohaan was just a month old when we operated him but still there was a risk of five to 10 percent in the surgery," Sharma said. 

Rohaan is recovering now and will go back to Pakistan in January, the doctors said.

(With IANS inputs)