Seven-year-old dies of heart ailment in Mumbai school

The child had a minor heart defect and was under medication; several attempts to revive him at Dr Antonio Da Silva High School failed and he was declared brought in dead at a nearby hospital

Dr Antonio Da Silva High School in Dadar wore a sombre look on Tuesday, as the staff and students were still coming to terms with the loss of a student. Seven-year-old Sarthak Todankar was busy enjoying his recess along with his classmates when he suddenly collapsed.

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The staff and students at Dr Antonio Da Silva High School are still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of seven-year-old Sarthak Todankar. Pic/Satyajit Desai
The staff and students at Dr Antonio Da Silva High School are still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of seven-year-old Sarthak Todankar. Pic/Satyajit Desai

After several attempts to revive him in school, authorities rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought in dead. The incident took place on Monday afternoon, when the primary section of the school had its midday recess.

“Those who witnessed the incident said that the student was walking down the stairs to go towards the ground, but the minute he reached the last step he collapsed,” said Adrian D’Silva, school trustee.

He added that the school staff noticed a commotion around this student and immediately rushed to help him. “After several attempts, we contacted his parents and rushed him to a nearby hospital; sadly, the doctors could not revive him,” added D’Silva.

A natural death
The police were also informed about the incident, and inquired into the matter. According to reports submitted by the Todankars to the Shivaji Park police, Sarthak was suffering from a minor heart defect, for which he had also undergone surgeries previously and was on medication.

“He had undergone a surgery at Wadia Hospital in 2012 for his heart problems and was on continuous medication ever since,” said Ashok Jagdale, senior police inspector, Shivaji Park police station. He added that parents refused to send their son’s body for final autopsy.

“The hospital where this student was taken to conducted basic formalities confirmed that this was a case of natural death, so we allowed the parents to take the child’s body home,” added Jagdale. When mid-day contacted the authorities at Shushrusha Hospital at Dadar (West), the spokesperson stated that the child was brought in dead.

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“The child suffered from atrial flutter, which is an abnormal heart rhythm. We believe he must’ve fainted because of this, which ultimately led to a cardiac arrest. We were informed in advance that this child was being brought in so we had kept the set-up ready, but all attempts to revive him failed,” said Anant Pandhare, medical director of the hospital. He added that the child had no external injuries on his body.

Tragic flashback
This is the second such shocking incident at a school this year. In January 2015, Kenneth Rosario, a seven-year-old student of Don Bosco School in Matunga, collapsed in front of his classmates during a basketball practice session.

The boy was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival. An initial autopsy revealed that the reason could be a form of gastrointestinal ailment with haemorrhage, leading to severe food poisoning.

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