Health is supposed to be the key factor when it comes to sustenance and survival of a person. Not everyone is fortunate to possess sound health. It has been noticed that general well being of those below poverty line is not a cause of concern but the affluent lot invariably suffer from one disease or the other. When we have financial security, we do not attempt to solve even minor health irritants with the help of naturopathy our age old practices. Rather, we make a compulsive beeline before a physician at the drop of hat. It inflates our expenditure apart from adding to the stress and mistrust among near and dear ones.
Once in a blue moon, however, the almighty blesses a hand to mouth person as well with an infant with unusual or wrongly placed organs. They are left with no option but to rush to centres of medical excellence, located miles away from their dwelling units. Upon ensuring a referral after running from pillar to post, long and treacherous journey comes in stride, followed by groping in dark in a vast urban conglomeration, systematically infested with touts, brokers and quacks.
By the time the correct specialist or surgeon is located and approached, either the case is complicated beyond redemption or the patient breaths his last. There are few fortunate ones, like Chander Majhi, a labourer from Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
His baby boy was born with a rare disorder called Septicemia in the last week of August 09. In addition to his heart completely jutting outside the chest, the vital thymus gland, providing immunity for the first five years, was missing. The unfortunate gift of God too had under-developed lungs and that there was no cavity for heart. This new born baby with complete thoracic Ectopia Cordis and no protective lining for the heart, was destined to live with zero immunity, but for rare surgical intervention lasting three and a half hours by Dr. A.K. Bisoi, Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon of AIIMS, assisted by seven of his colleagues.
The tiny heart of the baby literally hanging outside and pumping furiously, was exposed to germ laden air before the outstanding surgeons initiated the unprecedented rescue operation. His diaphragm was mobilized to the left by almost sixty degrees anterior followed by gentle pushing of other vital organs, such as, lungs and liver to create adequate space. Then his ‘robust’ heart was carefully placed partly in heart cavity and partly in the cavity of the stomach. While this unusual shifting was in the process, nothing else was reportedly rotated or twisted.
It is for the first time in the world that someone survived a highly complicated beating heart surgery of this kind. Without resorting to the suspension of his essential body functions like brain and heart, the unnamed baby continues to be on the smooth, yet, critical path of recovery.
At a time when his condition is being closely monitored and that every moment appears crucial, let us give a big hand to Dr. Bisoi’s exemplary team in particular and the AIIMS in general for once again proving to the humanity that the downtrodden can look up to a Government run hospital for a world class treatment at a negligible cost.
Such referral institutes of excellence, nonetheless, need to carry out a cleaning operation both in terms of regulating manpower and improving the overall look and atmosphere. A large number of patients would continue to throng mainly those, offering a ray of hope amidst a situation of grief and uncertainty. A bout of sustained positive projection can perhaps do wonders to lift the sagging image of such actual public philanthropic units as opposed to the plethora of bye-pass and other factories mushrooming shamelessly in the capital.