Vivan Arora is suffering from a rare condition, which in medical terms is called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia with major aortopulmonary collaterals. Besides other complications, the boy has a hole in the heart due to which impure blood is getting mixed with pure blood and his pulmonary valve is missing.
The estimated cost of the complicated corrective procedure, which is scheduled to take place in the US on January 5, is around Dh1 million and his parents say they cannot afford it.
“When Vivan was two months old, doctors in the UAE detected a hole in his heart. After further consultations we were referred to a specialist in India. We have been running from pillar to post for the treatment and after several tests Dr Rajesh Sharma at Jaypee Hospital in New Delhi gave us the correct picture of what the condition is,” said Sharanjit Singh Arora, the father of the toddler.
He added that doctors in India expressed their inability to conduct the operation as the surgery is considered high risk.
“Doctors in the UAE and India have refused to take up the case and the case has been referred to a specialist, Dr V. Mohan Reddy, at UCSF Medical Centre in San Francisco. The centre has quoted an estimated cost of between $250,000 and $300,000 for the entire procedure and we have to deposit the amount a week before the date of surgery,” said Arora, who works as an assistant HR manager at a private firm in Dubai.
Desperate to save their only child, Arora and his wife Ruchi are seeking help from every quarter.
“I have only Dh40,000 in my account right now. My friends and company have promised me help but I don’t how much they can afford. They cost is too high for us to bear and since this surgery is the only option we have to save our child I appeal to the community help us cover this,” said the helpless father.
According to a specialist doctor in Dubai, Vivan’s complex surgery will involve multiple steps, which very few doctors in the world can perform.
“This is a congenital problem, which is rare. Very few children are born with this condition and the survival rate is very low. The child’s heart has problems at three levels. There is a ventricular septal defect, which needs to be fixed. There is pulmonary atresia, where a muscular wall in the heart is not fully developed and needs to be reconstructed. The third step is to tie off multiple aorto-pulmonary collaterals (MAPCAs) and, finally, a graft conduit is inserted to replace the absent pulmonary valve,” said Dr Girish Chandra Verma, specialist cardiologist at NMC Speciality Hospital, Dubai.
Vivan and his parents have procured the visas required to travel for the surgery and their only obstacle is the lack of funds to cover the cost.
Explaining the high cost involved in the procedure, Dr Verma said, “Paediatric intensive care is very expensive and the procedure is complex. It involves several tests to be conducted back to back, so the expense will obviously be very high.”
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