Stories of Courage: M Harithra
September 26, 2020 | Contributed by Arti Barwa
Our bog section is full of stories of courage and resilience when it comes to treatment of critically ill children with Congenital Heart Defects. M Harithra is a little girl whose reliance in life might just surprise you.
One-year-old and the only daughter of Manivannan and Nithya from Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, Harithra was born on 30th July 2019 in a government hospital with a birth weight of 2 kilograms. Since, Harithra is the first child to Manivannan and Nithya, they were very concerned about her health as she started facing difficulty in breathing when she was barely a month old.
This worried the parents and they took their daughter to the government hospital for a check-up. The doctors evaluated her, and it was found that she had Pneumonia. Her parents got her admitted in the hospital. During the course of the hospitalization for Pneumonia, the doctors found her with an irregular heartbeat and suspected her to have CongenitalHeart Defect.
Harithra was discharged from the hospital after a few days and the parents were referred to a private diagnostic centre in their native place where an Echo was conducted. Harithra was detected to have a large Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). It meantshe had a hole in between the lower chambers of her heart. Her parents were asked to consult a Pediatric Cardiologist in Chennai or Coimbatore with a facility for treatment of critically ill children.
They were worried and clueless. Time passed and Harithra started having recurrent episodes of Pneumonia for which she had to be admitted to a government hospital every time.
Manivannan reached out to few relatives in Coimbatore. One of his relatives knew a pediatrician at GKNM Hospital in Coimbatore. The family of three left for Coimbatore in a bus. They travelled a distance of 150 kilometres which was covered in 3 hours. Upon reaching the GKNM Hospital, a repeated Echo confirmed the diagnosis. Her parents were told that their daughter would require an open-heart surgery to cure the defect.
Manivannan is a farmer by profession with a monthly income of Rs 6000. At best he could muster Rs 25,000 for his daughter’s surgery by taking help from his relatives. The hospital reached out to Genesis Foundation for support. With help from Himalaya Drugs Company, Harithra was operated and discharged in a stable condition. The charity cell of the hospital provided a free ambulance to the family for their return.
Harithra was discharged in a stable condition and is doing fine now.