Mumbai: Four-month-old Vidisha is being called a “miracle baby” in the Parel hospital that has been her home for the last two months. She was not only born with a major heart defect that needed a 12-hour surgery, but she suffered six heart attacks thereafter.
Vidisha, who was born to Kalyan residents Vishaka and Vinod Waghmare, is likely to be discharged from B J Wadia Hospital within the next couple of days. Her parents could barely manage Rs 25,000 for the Rs 5-lakh bill that was paid by various donors of the hospital.
“When she was 45 days old, Vidisha vomited after I fed her and fell unconscious. We shook her awake, but she again became unconscious,” said Vishaka. They rushed the baby to a local nursing home, where they were advised to take her to B J Wadia Hospital.
Vidisha was diagnosed with a heart defect called transposition of the great arteries, in which connections to the big arteries called aorta and pulmonary artery are switched. “Basically, her heart’s anatomy was opposite of a normal heart,” explained Dr Biswa Panda, paediatric cardiac surgeon of Wadia Hospital, who operated on her on March 14.
While her heart function improved after the 12-hour-long surgery, her weak lungs didn’t. “Correction for the transposition of the great arteries should be done immediately after birth. Else, like in Vidisha’s case, the poorly formed lung got used to a certain pattern and couldn’t adjust to the sudden correction,” said Dr Panda.
The oxygen concentration in her blood used to routinely drop to a third of the normal while carbon dioxide would jump up three times. “She was in the ICU for 51 days after the surgery, and went into cardiac arrest stage six times due to this imbalance,” said the doctor, adding that her heart once needed 15 minutes to be resuscitated.
The hospital had to use a high-frequency oscillatory ventilator for Vidisha’s lungs to stabilize. “This seems to be a rare case. I have come across cases where a child required the high-frequency ventilator after surgery and they have done well,” said paediatric cardiac surgeon Dr Suresh Rao of Kokilaben Ambani Hospital.
B J Wadia Hospital CEO Dr Minnie Bodhanwala said, “We toiled for three years to get a cardiac surgery department to help underprivileged children with heart disease. It feels good that our objective is being met.”