Wednesday, Jul 16, 2003
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By Divya Sreedharan
The Chairman and Managing Director of Narayana Hrudayalaya, Devi Shetty (right), and the Karnataka Minister for Information and Publicity, Allum Veerabhadrappa, conveying the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna's greetings to the parents of the Pakistani child, Noor Fatima, who underwent a successful operation in Bangalore on Tuesday.
The open-heart surgery, initially fixed for Wednesday morning at the Narayana Hrudayalaya here, was suddenly advanced to Tuesday "in the best interest of the child,'' said Rajesh Sharma, paediatric cardiac surgeon who led the operating team.
The 13-member team worked from 7.20 a.m. to about 1 p.m. to plug "two holes'' in the two-and-a-half-year-old child's heart. Dr. Sharma said the child was "stable'' and kept in the hospital's Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU). "If Noor responds well, she can be kept in a post-operative ward for four to five days.''
Meanwhile, Babar, a six-month-old Pakistani child, who had been in the ITU since Wednesday last, battling pneumonia, died late on Monday.
The infant was brought here through a circuitous route: Karachi to Dubai and then to India. The rigours of the journey had weakened the child. Dr. Sharma told The Hindu that Babar's parents had left the hospital to return home.
Noor's parents Nadeem Sajjad and Tayyaba Nadeem said they had seen their child after the operation. "We could not sleep last night. Even this morning we were very anxious. It seemed as if time stood still. And only when Dr. Sharma came out smiling from the operation theatre, we understood everything was all right,'' Mr. Sajjad said.
Noor's mother thanked God. "I entrusted my child to Allah. His grace, the doctors' skill, and everyone's blessing and prayers have helped her,'' she said. Noor's elder siblings, Tehsin and Mahrukh, would be apprised of the child's condition, the parents said.
Enduring questions from the media, the Lahore-based couple said their daughter was lucky. Mr. Sajjad said they were given priority for seats on the Delhi-bound bus from Lahore. In fact, doctors said the surgery had been done at the right time and the child's condition could have become more complicated, had the surgery been delayed.
Noor's father said he felt at "home, 4,000 miles away from my actual home. We thank every mother, father, sister, and elder, who has prayed for her.''
He said they would have had to go to America (brother Naeem is a nephrologist in Boston) if the bus service had not been resumed.
Though many philanthropists were ready to foot Noor's medical bills, currently at over Rs. 1.4 lakhs, Mr. Sajjad said they could afford it themselves.
Dr. Sharma said Noor did not need follow-up visits to the hospital. "There are good doctors in Pakistan and they can be consulted,'' he said.
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