10-month-old Mumbai baby needs Rs 1.2 lakh surgery to fix heart

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Doctors say 10-month-old Sakshi Acharya needs twin surgeries to fix a hole in her heart and clear blocked arteries. The first surgery will cost Rs 1.2 lakh — an amount her security guard father and sales executive mother simply do not have

Little Sakshi’s heart is still beating, blissfully oblivious to the fact that unless her parents can collect R1.2 lakh for a surgery to plug a hole in her heart, she may not live much longer.

Sakshi’s parents Manoj and Dhanalakshmi Acharya are not well off. Manoj works as a security guard and earns R6,400 a month while Dhanalakshmi works in an automobile firm with a salary of R9000. Raising a lakh in short notice is an impossible dream for them.

Apart from the hole in her heart, 10-month-old Sakshi also has blockages in her arteries
Yet, doctors have urged the harried parents to get the money together to perform the life-saving operation.

Born last May, Sakshi was diagnosed with a hole in her heart just a day after her birth. “Based on the suggestions of the doctors at KEM hospital, we did a 3D Echo test, which confirmed her ailment,” Manoj told sunday mid-day.

“Together we support our family of four, including my aged mother. We have already spent our life’s savings of R55,000 for our child’s treatment,” he said.

Dr L Srinivas, a senior surgeon at Jupiter Lifeline Hospital in Thane who is currently treating Sakshi, said the child was born with a condition known as Blue Baby Syndrome, which occurs when the heart is not able to supply enough blood to the lungs.

“Apart from the hole in the heart, the baby also has blockages in her arteries. We have to carry out the operation in two stages. In the first operation, which has to be done in next 10 days, we shall make a passage for the free flow of blood to the lungs, so that the patient can lead a normal life. The actual cost of the operation is over 1.5 lakh, but keeping the economic condition of the family in mind, we have subsidised the cost,” said the doctor.

Dr Srinivas added that during the second operation, which can be done in the next two years, the hole in the heart would be tackled. “That is a more complicated surgery and we have offered a subsidised package of R1.8 lakh to them.”

The Acharyas haven’t lost faith yet but it’s fading fast. “We have heard stories of how kind hearted Mumbai residents have helped other poor people earlier. Specially when it is a matter of a child’s life. I hope they help again,” a teary-eyed Dhanalakshmi said. Those willing to help can contact Jupiter Hospital directly and help through cheques or DD drawn in favour of Jupiter Lifeline Hospitals Pvt. Ltd.

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