3-Year-Old Boy With Rare Heart Condition ‘Inoperable’ In India, Boston Hospital Gives Hope

Three-year-old Priyanshu with his parents.

Bhopal: A three-year-old boy from Bhopal is battling a rare heart condition. While Indian doctors have declared him “inoperable” in the country, his father Sagar Meshram has found some hope in the United States. Priyanshu Meshram was 3 months old when he was diagnosed with complex Congenital Heart Defect in which impure and pure blood get mixed, resulting in lung damage.

“I took him to the Fortis Hospital in Delhi, Narayan Hrudyalaya in Bangalore, Ruby Hall and Jehangir hospital in Pune, but doctors said surgery could be fatal for him,” Mr Meshram told NDTV.

Priyanshu’s paediatrician Dr Rakesh Mishra said, “He has a double outlet right ventricle with a large ventricular septal defect with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Across the globe, less than 0.5% of population gets this disease.”

“In Priyanshu’s case, since both the outlets of his heart are very close, pure and impure blood keeps mixing,” he added.

A reconstructive surgery is needed at the earliest to treat the child, but it carries considerable risk.

Priyanshu’s mother says he faces difficulty in breathing.

“In 2015, a bridging therapy  – a pulmonary artery banding was done – to reduce blood flow at high pressures into the lungs, thus preventing lung damage and prolonging life. He is around because of that surgery,” said Dr Mishra.

The hospital at Boston, he said, has treated patients with this defect and he is hopeful that the child will get help there.

But the cost of the surgery, including waivers, will be $1,00,557 — Rs 66 lakh. The child will also need to stay in the hospital for at least two months for post-operative care, which would involve an additional cost of Rs 82 lakh. The arrangement of money for such huge operation, however, is beyond the financial capabilities of the house painter.

Gaurav Malhotra from Delhi, who supports cancer patients, has started an online petition under hashtag #SavePriyanshu. Celebrities like Abhishek Bachchan, Ranvijay Singha, Vijender Singh, Richa Chaddha and Virender Singh and other social groups have come forward to help the child. So far, Rs 13 lakh has been raised.

Priyanshu with Gaurav Malhotra who is helping the family raise money for his treatment.

“We have also approached Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the US Embassy and the Prime Minister’s office,” said Mr Malhotra. The Chief Minister has promised Rs 10 lakh. “The amount, however, will be given only after we raise the rest,” Mr Malhotra said.

While Priyanshu’s father has been doing the rounds of the hospital, his mother too has spent sleepless nights looking after him. “Priyanshu wakes up in the night. His breathing gets really fast. I get really worried and scared. I just want him to get operated and recover fast. Just want him to play like other children of his age,” she said.

“While he is stable at present, he is a high risk patient and prone to secondary infections. An infection may turn lethal for him, so surgery is needed without any delay,” added Dr Mishra.

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