Celebrating our Brave Little Heroes
November 10, 2022
There are no seven wonders in the eyes of a child, there are seven million Walt Streightiff.
And that is how we feel when we look into the eyes of the children we support. The sparkle in their eyes, their endearing smiles, and the look on their faces is what energises us and keeps us committed to working to save our little hearts. As a children’s heart foundation, the children we support form the core of who we are. A quick conversation with the team, and one will realise that though each one of us comes from different backgrounds what weaves us together is that one case that we discuss about over lunch, or the collective prayers that go out for that one child undergoing a critical procedure and the joy we all experience when that child has been successfully treated. This is where we work to give life a chance – to keep that little heart beating.
This month as we celebrate Children’s Day we celebrate and salute these little hearts who have fought so many odds to keep going, to realise their dreams and their resolve to live. We salute their bravery, their resilience, their courage and most importantly their strength.
As a child heart foundation, we support free heart surgeries for children in India and thus we are fortunate to interact with many brave heroes. None of us ever misses an opportunity to meet a kid who has just finished a procedure. It is humanly not possible to meet those Bravehearts and not have a memory etched in the deep corners of our heart. As we celebrate our kids, each one of us went down memory lane to talk about those 1-2 children who have left an indelible mark on us. For the team members who have been a part of our child heart foundation since many years, it was a hard task to select just 1-2 kids.
“I met Anjali at the hospital and then her home in Haryana.” Recalls Simran Sagar, Operations Director. “Such a cute little girl full of playfulness, sleeping on a bed with a small fly perched on her skin on a hot summer day. When she woke up, she was so playful and happy to see us. Her smile has never left me since. I could not help but admire the family’s resilience and strength that even with the limited resources they had the determination to fight the diagnosis.”
Each child that we support always has a unique story. That sparkle in the eye, the shy nod of the head that just pulls the corners of our hearts. Dolly Malvai, who has been with the Foundation since 2001 has seen hundreds of children get free heart surgery for children in India. When we asked her what she remembered about the kids she was at a loss as there were so many of them.
She instantly talks about the Miracle baby, baby of Rekha, who amazed the entire team working on him on how he made the difficult journey within hours of his birth. The parents could not even think of a name before the doctors discovered that he had 3 holes in his heart. The child received the required critical treatment to remain alive at the right time and under three months was on the road to recovery. Dolly recalls that the mother’s sheer determination to save her child against all odds and the strength of that little baby moved her immensely.
Srivatsan, Senior Manager Projects and Administration, talks about a young girl, the daughter of a single parent from Patna. She crashed on front of him in the OPD and was resuscitated and brought back to life. Despite all the hardships her mother never lost hope. She is doing well now.
My own first visit to see a child was very emotionally intense. The child I met had just come out of the ICU and could not see his parents as they both had physical disabilities and could not be there for the procedure. Being a mother myself I could not help thinking how my kids would go through a procedure like this, the ICUs, the doctors without me being on their side. And yet here he was smiling, so shy to make eye contact and yet smiling. He spoke to his mother on the phone comforting her that all was fine. When I asked him about the first place he wanted to visit after getting discharged from the hospital; he said Sidhu Mossewals’s ( a famous Indian singer) native village !
“I remember when I first went to meet one child in Jaypee Hospital, Greater Noida,” recalls Geeta Mahajan, manager administration. “We met with the mother and grandfather of the 6 days old kid. The child had been brought from Gwalior when he was 1 day old. At this visit I had just about re-joined work after delivering my first child 6 months ago. I was emotional and confused about re-joining work at the child heart foundation or going back to stay with my small baby at home. But when I saw that baby and the family, all doubts were cleared. I decided to continue with Genesis Foundation, a child heart foundation that supports free heart surgery in India, as I wanted to help other kids and families find their happiness.”
Our Project Manager, Arti Bawa, talks about Radha(alias), a 10-year-old girl from Bihar. Despite her deteriorating health her parents could not afford the treatment. Arti met Ashi when she just come out of her surgery and remembers the smile that lit a million sparkles on her face when Arti gave her a doll.
A little bit of tissues, a lot of cheer, success stories, happy and smiling faces, the silent look of gratitude on the faces of the parents is what makes us come back and do what we do- every single day.
We wish all the children a Happy Children’s Day. You deserve to blossom and grow no matter where you are planted.