Young Ayush’s one-and-a-half years in this world have been far from pleasant. Born with a hole in the heart, he developed cataract in both eyes. By the time he was one, he had lost the weak vision he had in his left eye.

Suffering since birth: Ayush has undergone a surgery for cataract in  one eye and is scheduled for a second surgery  in two weeks or so
Suffering since birth: Ayush has undergone a surgery for cataract in  one eye and is scheduled for a second surgery  in two weeks or so

Doctors, however, are hesitant to operate on the boy for his congenital heart defect because he is underweight, and his haemoglobin count is low. “We had first taken him to the civic-run Nair hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for his heart ailment. Doctors informed us that he has a hole in his heart, for which he will require surgery. But before he is deemed fit for the surgery, he will have to gain weight from his current 4.5 kg,” said Manoj Dulare, Ayush’s father.

Ayush suffers from mitral stenosis, in which there is a narrowing of a valve, resulting in left atrial pressure, and he will have to weigh at least 8 kg before he can undergo heart surgery.

Meanwhile, his father approached Bharat Chamber Trust for his cataract surgery, which was conducted free of cost in Dahisar’s Manav Kalyan Kendra. Dr Jugal Shah, Ayush’s ophthalmologist, said, “He had to be treated for low haemoglobin for a month before the surgery, as there is a risk in putting such patients under anesthesia. The anesthesiologist, Dr Neelam Nalge, decided to give him a lower dose and we completed the procedure in a shorter period than usual.”

Ayush’s right eye was successfully operated upon and he is scheduled to undergo his next cataract surgery in another two weeks or so. “I read about the trust in the newspapers and decided to approach them as I earn only Rs 6,000 a month and was unable to go to a private hospital for treatment. We are glad the first stage of his surgery is over and hope he will be able to put on weight for the heart surgery,” added Manoj.