Providing treatment for Congenital heart defects: a big blessing bestowed by God
March 13, 2023 | Contributed by Dr Neeraj Awasthy
Destinies are pre-decided but the actions one takes are voluntary and essential. The actions we take can have long lasting implications on the lives of many people. When I stepped into the field of pediatric cardiology, I was not fully aware of the magnitude of the problem. I was not aware of the sheer number of children who needed treatment for congenital heart defects. Becoming a pediatric cardiologist was my destiny and during the course of my journey I began to realize that my actions could modify the natural destined history of congenital heart disease significantly. That my actions (with my I mean me and my team together) could change the destiny of a child and his/her family.
“Becoming a pediatric cardiologist was my destiny.” Dr Neeraj Awasthy
There are umpteen incidences in the life of a pediatric cardiologist where he or she encounters the above modified situation – adapted from the Bhagavat Gita. We regularly encounter little children come to us with critical heart conditions – either a duct dependent lesion, a critical stenosis and many more. We also see children who different types of child heart treatment like a PDA stent or a ballooning of the narrowed valve that would salvage a life. And that is where the beauty of this profession lies- from seeing them with symptoms of their heart not being able to function normally, after we have been able to give them the necessary treatment, we see them grow to full natural glory as their peers. That is where somewhere you thank the Lord of having entrusting us the task to deliver the Karma. Probably, that was destined for him and so was the action of the paediatric cardiologist.
It’s not just those crashing new-born’s that arrive every day. There are those grownup who have a deficiency of the septum of the heart, popularly called holes in the heart. Some of those can be treated by interventional procedures while others need a surgical procedure. Whatever may be the substrate, its for sure an appropriated and timely treated condition is treated for life. This act -the mastermind of the world does for himself in almost all of us, but in those that arrive for a child heart treatment he segregates the task to be done by those that deal with paediatric cardiology. It’s this modified Karma that God has bestowed upon us – the paediatric cardiology team, that makes us thank the almighty for giving the opportunity to serve.
Dr Awasthy with one of the children he has treated.
The list is endless where paediatric cardiology teams need to be thankful to the eternal creator for having created certain deficiencies in the cardiac systems that can be corrected successfully by the sheer strength He has disseminated in a few whom He selected to deliver the task . And these obligations are excessive in the field of pediatric cardiology such as diagnosing the blue baby and ensuring that they turn pink like the rest of the people around after intervention or surgery.
Some children are not so lucky to get a diagnosis of their heart defect in the initial years. Few of these children have grown up as untreated blue babies and come to us with secondary complications. These include blood in cough, brain abscess, repeated squatting episodes. They and their families have accepted the destiny without doing the karma to modify it. “Supastasiya sihansya mukhe na pravishanti mukhe mriga” ( Deer would never enter a sleeping lions mouth), even the mighty lion has to make an endeavour and do his Karma to earn his food.
“Many families need to be made aware about treatment for congenital heart defects” – DR Neeraj Awasthy
Yes, many of them can still be treated and it’s essential that an endeavour is made by the actions (karma) of the society to bring the fellow humans guiding them timely on the appropriate path. This Krishna who can guide resides in each one of us and there are so many Arjuns around that need awakening.
It’s important that organization such as Genesis foundation are acting to awaken the Consciousness in each one of us by making many people aware of the problem. In addition to building awareness, they are also bringing those needing to get healed to the system and ensuring that treatment for congenital heart defects is available to a large number of children. Probably the true worship is to do the task and not just sit and accept the fate.
As has also been mentioned in the Bhagavat Gita, “Perform your duties, because action is better than inaction. Inertia has no achievements. Even keeping one’s body functional needs action.”
Dr. Neeraj Awasthy is Director, Pediatric Cardiology at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi.