Kashmiri kids get a 'gift of life'
12 November 2006
New Delhi: While seven children from Jammu and Kashmir have already benefited from the 'Gift of Life' project of the Rotary under which the National Heart Institute at East of Kailash here performed heart surgeries on them free of cost, four more children from the trouble- torn State are due to gain from the project very soon. The latest beneficiary has been 15-year-old Kumari Ayodhya from Doda region of Jammu and Kashmir who underwent a heart operation at NHI on November 6. Younger daughter of Ved Prakash and Shibna Devi - who have four daughters and two sons - Ayodhya had been suffering from Patent Ductus Arteriosus since birth. While this problem required a surgery when the patient is between one and two years of age, in Ayodhya's case the family's economic status came in the way of her treatment. However, R. Srivatsan of NHI said when the doctors at the Institute came to know about her case through the Rotary club at Udhampur, they called her over to Delhi. Ayodhya was subsequently operated upon by a team of doctors headed by Chief Cardiac Surgeon O.P. Yadava. A Class 8 student she is now on the path to recovery and would soon be able to go back to her studies. During the past three months, Mr Srivatsan said the hospital has conduced free surgeries on nine students including one each from Kerala and Meghalaya. With nearly two lakh children born in India with heart disease every year and approximately six to eight of every 1,000 children in India suffering from congenital heart diseases, Rotary had launched the 'Gift of Life' project for poor children in 2002. It is estimated that nearly 75,000 children out of the 18 million born every year suffer from heart defects at birth and the majority are unable to afford the treatment.