My Experience of Visiting a Child in a Hospital - Blog



My Experience of Visiting a Child in a Hospital

June 10, 2023 | Contributed by Arushi Ahuja

Phew! After sitting through what felt like hours of staring at an incomplete Excel sheet, I finally got up from my office chair and brewed myself a cup of coffee. As soon as I returned, I was apprised of a hospital visit I had to do by a colleague.

My first hospital visit as an intern – grateful to have been able to meet him and his family

Upon enquiring further, I got to know that we had to visit a child diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease during his pre-op. It’s been a while since I’ve known about the Genesis Foundation, an NGO for heart treatment in India working for underprivileged children within the age group of 0-18 years who are diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect.

Their work and commitment to the treatment of Congenital Heart Disease have always been inspiring. Continuing with the same feeling, I returned to my seat. A myriad of questions emitting anxiety went through my head. After all, this was my first hospital visit as an Intern at the Genesis Foundation.

According to a report, in India, the estimated number of children born with congenital heart disease is over 200,000 per year. However, this advanced cardiac care is available to only a minority of such children. Most of the cardiac centers developed in the last 10 years are in the private sector and are not geographically well-distributed.

The brave boy I met beaming smiles full of joy

The biggest challenge to pediatric cardiac care is the financial constraints. Genesis Foundation attempts to solve this problem by providing financial resources for heart treatment for underprivileged children within the age group of 0-18 years and from families with a monthly income of less than Rs 20,000.

When I reached the hospital, I met the surgeon who was going to operate on that child. She escorted me to her desk and asked me to wait until the child came in. Within five minutes, I heard the door knob twitching, and soon I could see an 11-year-old boy making his way through the room.

I assumed he might be nervous about his upcoming surgery, however, I was proved wrong. He emitted a beaming smile full of joy and excitement. He was accompanied by his mother and grandmother, who seemed quite curious about who I was. Upon introducing myself that I am interning with Genesis Foundation which works as a Child Heart Foundations in India, I could see that they became quite comfortable in sharing their experiences with me.

I got to know that the child was diagnosed with CHD at the time he was born. It’s been 11 years since he’s been living with this problem. Hence, it’s also been 11 years since he hasn’t gone to school. He can’t play any sports with his friends nor can he harness the opportunity to get a proper education as his peers.

Humbled to meet this brave heart and his family

After listening to his life experiences, I felt immense gratitude for the life I have. I’ve been so fortunate to have had the chance to go to school and get a chance at having a ‘normal’ childhood. I felt so proud of that kid. Despite being so young, he still hasn’t lost any hope of having and living a better life. He still has a smile on his face. His optimism touched my heart.

At the end of our interaction, I decided to click a photo of him and his family.

This picture should be a reminder to you and me, that no matter what life throws at us, we never should lose hope. No matter how big you think your problems are, there is someone out there who has much bigger problems. Experiences like this teach you the important lesson of humility and gratitude.

By working at the Genesis Foundation, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn about these experiences every day, and I almost feel like I’m a part of these amazing stories.

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