Baby Shivanya is homeward-bound

Updated: Sep 01, 2019, 07:38 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Sangli kid who had to undergo life-saving heart surgery has recovered; parents avoid going back to flood-ravaged village

Sandeep and Aarti Shinde with their two-month-old daughter Shivanya
Sandeep and Aarti Shinde with their two-month-old daughter Shivanya

"When I came to Mumbai, my two-month-old daughter was battling for life. Had it not been for the doctors and staff at Wadia [hospital], she would not have been alive," said an emotional Sandeep Shinde, father of Shivanya, outside the hospital ward. Shivanya, who has completely recovered from a recent surgery, will now be going back to her hometown in Sangli with her parents.

mid-day on August 27 had reported about the ordeal that Sandeep and his wife had been through. The Shinde family had lost everything, including their rented house, in the flash floods that submerged Haripur village in Sangli district, where they had been living for the last few years. They were saved by the NDRF team and later shifted to a rescue centre. Soon after, Shivanya was diagnosed with a birth defect called Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection—her pulmonary vein was on the right side, instead of the left.

Two-month-old Shivanya will have to visit the hospital every month for regular checkups
Two-month-old Shivanya will have to visit the hospital every month for regular checkups

In layman's terms, this means that the purified blood required on the left side of the heart, was going to the right side instead. Her condition was aggravated by a small hole in her heart, causing the mixing of pure and impure blood.

She was rushed to Wadia Hospital in Mumbai, where doctors had recommended a complex open heart surgery on an urgent basis. Since the family was unable to pay for the treatment, which cost around R3 lakh, the expenses were footed by Sir Ness Wadia Foundation (SNWF).

Speaking to mid-day, Dr Biswa Panda, paediatric cardiac surgeon at the hospital, who carried out the supra major surgery said, "Post the surgery, Shivanya has been showing positive signs of improvement. We conducted a 2D Echo on Friday and the results were satisfactory. We will be discharging her on Sunday. The parents will need to get her again after 10 days for a checkup."

According to Dr Panda, it is crucial to keep monitoring the functioning of the heart and surgical results for at least two months. "We will also be reducing the dosage of medicines, following the results of our next 2D Echo scan." A spokesperson from the hospital added, "For one or two months, the child will need cardiac medicines for complete recovery; a follow up after 7 to 10 days is advised."

Post the mid-day story, a few good Samaritans supported the Shinde family with clothes and money, Dr Panda said. Unfortunately, post the flooding, Haripur village has been plagued with monsoon-related ailments; dengue cases have also been on the rise. When asked if it was advisable for the family to return to their hometown, a doctor at the hospital said, "The parents should ensure that they make use of a mosquito net. We have also advised that they consume potable water."

The family, however, as a precaution has decided against going to Haripur. They will be living in a relative's home in Jatrawadi village, which is 20 km from Kolhapur. "We have to start from scratch, and I want to give the best to my daughter. She is more precious to us than anything else."

Social worker Poonam Phatak, the good Samaritan, who helped arrange timely treatment for Shivyani in Mumbai, said, "I am in touch with the family, and as initial relief for flood affected families in Haripur village, the administration has transferred R5,000 in their bank accounts. I am also trying to reach out to the Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) commissioner to check if there is a possibility of providing any alternate accommodation to the Shindes. However, I feel that the family should continue to stay in the hospital, as all the travel might strain the child."

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