Ten-year-old Praveen Kumar couldn’t hold back his tears on seeing his father break down while recalling the trials and tribulations of the last three years.
At the age of seven, Praveen developed a persistent cough, and began to experience breathlessness and palpitations. Diagnosed with a cardiac ailment, he was told he needed a heart transplant.
Finally, on May 24, he received a heart from a 25-year-old brain-dead patient at the Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital, Omandurar Estate.
“This is the first successful paediatric heart transplant performed in a government hospital in Tamil Nadu. The boy was diagnosed with viral myocarditis. His heart was dilated and could not pump blood efficiently. His heart rate was only 25 (beats per minute). After transplantation, he is doing well and is fit for discharge,” Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar told reporters.
The boy was brought to the hospital on December 27, 2017, and registered for a heart transplant.
Praveen, despite the tears, is happy that he has got a new heart. “I can walk and speak well now. I am ready to go to school,” he said.
A resident of Kundrathur, his father Munusamy is a daily wage worker.
“He was being treated at the Institute of Child Health, Egmore. Doctors said he required a heart transplant but we did not have money. It was only then that we approached the Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital,” Mr. Munusamy said.
The Minister said the surgery was covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. A team of cardio-thoracic surgeons led by Dr. Manoharan performed the operation.
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