Get your children screened, mother urges

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Dr Ashishkumar Banpurkar hands over a certifi cate to Anand Kumar at Sri Satya Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital in Nasese. Picture: RAKESH KUMAR

My child is saved and I want other children having heart problems to be saved as well.

These were the sentiments of Talei Vulase, the mother of the 5-year-old Anand Kumar who had a successful open heart surgery at Sri Satya Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital on Sunday, January 29.

She said her child showed no symptoms and her entire family was shocked when they were told that Anand had a 10mm hole in his heart.

“There were no symptoms shown,” Ms Vulase said.

He was an active child just like other normal children. His family was caught unaware because he was never admitted to hospital.

“In August last year when we saw that there was a heart screening going on – as a concerned parent – we took him to Labasa Hospital for a normal check up.

“This organisation, the Sai Prema Foundation, had a joint venture with the health authorities in Labasa so they were there for screening.

“We heard about this, so we also took our child.”

The 29-year-old mom, originally from Rakiraki, said after the check up they were advised that their child had a 10mm hole in his heart.

“We were shocked. He didn’t show any symptom as he was a healthy boy.

“His second test for done in early December and they told us that 10mm hole in his heart remains and there will be a surgical team in the month of January and we would be advised when to come for his surgery.

“They called in January (last month) and they gave us the date of the surgery. We came because we didn’t want his life to be at risk.

“We took all the precautions, and the surgery was done successfully on January 30. It took three to four hours for the doctors to do the surgery.

“After one hour he woke up and started talking. He went through the normal process as other kids and within days he got well.”

Ms Vulase said her family would n help the foundation in creating awareness among families to have their children’s hearts screened.

“I have been meeting my families and friends and they all are asking me the same question- your son was all OK, what happened, was he sick?

“So I started advising them. There are screenings going on and it’s free. Get your children screened. I also helped my workmates in getting their children for screening.

“I am not stopping here. I will go and create awareness among parents in Labasa to take their children for screening. My child is saved and I want other children having similar heart problem to be saved as well.”

Ms Vulase said her family was thankful for the Sai Prema Foundation for giving her son the gift of life.

“I just want to thank the Sai Prema Foundation, Sri Satya Sai Children’s Hospital, all the doctors and nurses and the specialist for doing wonders.”

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