4 months old infant with a rare congenital heart disease treated at Jaypee Hospital

  • The infant from Pakistan was just a month old when his parents brought him to Jaypee Hospital
  • Parents received medical visa due to the humanitarian initiative of Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs

Noida, January 4, 2018: The team of doctors of Paediatric Cardiology Department at Jaypee Hospital, a Multi Super Specialty Hospital in Noida, have blessed four months old baby Rohaan from Lahore, Pakistan with a new lease of life. Baby Rohaan was suffering from a life threatening heart disease called ‘Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Initially, Rohaan’s parents were unable to get Indian medical visa for their child’s treatment. It was then that Rohaan’s father decided to appeal directly to Hon’ble External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj through twitter. This caught Madam Sushma’s attention­­­ granting medical visa for baby Rohaan and the family to come to India for treatment within 24 hours. Rohaan finally came to Jaypee Hospital for treatment on 7th September, 2017 where his heart surgery was performed by Dr. Rajesh Sharma, Director of Paediatric Cardiology Department and his team on 8th September, 2017. Baby Rohaan is recovering now and will go back to Pakistan by the first week of January, one month after discharge.

Dr. Rajesh Sharma, Director, Paediatric Cardiology Department, Jaypee Hospital explaining patient’s illness said, “Rohaan was suffering from rarest of the rare congenital heart disease. He was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) when he was just five days old. HLHS is a heart defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart as the foetus develops. Rohaan’s life was at huge risk as the left side of his heart was critically underdeveloped. The pressure in his lungs used to shoot up very quickly. From the very first month baby Rohaan used to have heavy breathing and his weight was not increasing.”  Dr. Rajesh Sharma further added, “Rohaan was just 2.1 kgs when he was bought to Jaypee Hospital that made it more challenging for us to handle his condition. Rohaan‘s disease was treated by the ‘Modified Norwood Procedure’ which is one of the most complex heart surgeries. In entire Asia it is performed across very few centres. The Norwood procedure is first of a three-step surgery to create a new functional systemic circuit in patients. It is designed to improve the oxygenated blood delivery to the vital organs. Rohaan’s blood flow from the right ventricle  was rerouted to serve this function by providing alternative source of pulmonary circulation.”  “In the surgery, the main pulmonary artery and the aorta were connected and then, the main pulmonary artery was cut off from the two branching pulmonary arteries that direct blood to each side of the lungs. The right ventricle was converted into the main ventricle pumping blood to both the lungs and the body by placing a connection called SANO Shunt. The surgery was completed successfully in about ten hours. Post surgery, the baby was shifted to ICU where his basic fluctuations and pressures were observed and managed with medicines. After a few hours of shifting the patient in the ICU his heart function deteriorated with slowing of heart and hypertension. Therefore, we immediately gave him cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). After CPR baby’s condition got better but it was still not completely stable. Hence, we had to do Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) which is 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 5 days and his chest was closed after his heart started functioning better as per 2 D echo analysis,” Dr. Sharma further explained.  Dr. Rajesh Sharma said, “Considering the high risk of post-surgical infections, we had to design his prescription with IVIG and high-end anti-microbial to improve the body resistance. To ensure his well being in a critical state artificial nutrition was also given to him for some time.”

The baby was gradually weaned from ventilation but at lower ventilatory support he 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.

According to Dr. Rajesh Sharma, “One out of 1000 children has such a critical heart disease which baby Rohaan was suffering from. It is advisable that such cases must be treated at the earliest to achieve 100% success rate and to enable the child lead a normal life. Rohaan was just a month old when we operated him but still there was a risk of five to ten percent in the surgery. However, the prayers from people across the borders for child’s good health have paved  way for his successful surgery and recovery.”

“Our child was just five days old when we got to know about his disease. Doctors in Pakistan told us that the surgery needs to be done within a month. Since, the surgery that was supposed to be done is highly critical and is performed only at two – three institutions in entire Asia, we were really worried. After surfing net for days we got to know about Dr. Rajesh Sharma at Jaypee Hospital and his successful past record in performing such critical surgeries. Therefore, we wanted to come to India for Rohaan’s surgery at the earliest but we were not given medical visa. Since, the surgery had to be performed within a month of his birth; we had very little time left in our hands. So, we decided to approach External Affairs Minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj through a small campaign on twitter. All thanks to those people who re-tweeted and replied to our tweet catching Madam Sushma’s attention who granted us the visa within a day. I am really thankful to her and the doctors at Jaypee Hospital whose attempts have saved my child’s life,” said Mehwish Mukhtar (28), mother of baby Rohaan.  

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