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Story of Viraj Ganapati Sagat

Viraj Ganapati Sagat, is an eighteen-month-old baby and the youngest child born to couple Komal and Ganapati from Latur, Maharashtra. Ganapati works long and arduous hours farming but brings home a humble income of not more than Rs 5000 per month. In the last few years the droughts in Latur have increased which has affected his work tremendously and in turn the family’s financial stability.

Little Viraj was born at a nearby government hospital and the first month after his arrival, everything was smooth, there was excitement in the air about a newborn in the house. Of course, Komal was sleep deprived as all new mothers, but love engulfed her as she looked at her two boys with pride.

When Viraj was a month old, he spiked a high fever and had respiratory distress, so they rushed him to the same nearby hospital he was born. The pediatrician prescribed medication and it helped ease the baby, but this became a recurrent episode for Viraj every time the season changed.

The final episode that shook the family took place in 2019, it was so severe and scary – Ganapati and Komal knew that something was not right, and they needed to seek higher medical advice. The local pediatrician referred the family to Jupiter Hospital in Pune, a partner hospital of our Foundation. They knew that whatever the cost maybe, they would find a way to take their son to Pune. Ganapati borrowed money from family members so they could travel from Latur to Pune as their savings wouldn’t allow them to do so.

They reached Jupiter Hospital, in Pune and immediately an examination and an Echo were conducted. A murmur was detected which was a clear sign of a congenital heart defect and the Echo report confirmed this. He was suffering from a cardiac total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC). Viraj was underweight as this disease had impacted his weight gain, he was only 6kg.

In his case, the pulmonary veins draining into the lower right sided superior vena cava and near the right atrium had a large atrial septal defect, which allowed the blood to enter the left side of the heart. He needed an open-heart surgery to live. Both parents were counseled on the necessity for intervention at the earliest, but they didn’t have any means to pay such a large sum of money.

The hospital reached out to us for support and we committed to supporting this case as it fit the criteria we follow as a Foundation dealing with heart disorders.

The costs of surgery were funded by our newly added CSR partner – K&S partners. Viraj was operated on 2nd July 2019 with a modified Warden’s procedure, by creating a baffle of the pulmonary veins to the left atrium through the ASD.

He championed his way through the complex procedure and recovery. After twenty hours, he was taken off ventilator support and shifted to a general ward from the ICU after four days. Ganapati and Komal are relieved that a Foundation working for children even exists, to spark hope for lesser privileged family like theirs. Viraj is now back in the comforts of the family’s home. He loves to play like any other normal baby his age and his parents are relieved that there are no more bad bouts of respiratory issues and his heart is on its way to being completely healed.