I became pregnant with Amina Saqib at the end of February. She was due November 27th. Because she was measuring quite small, I had routine ultra-sounds every second week in November to track her growth. On November 30th, we went in for one of these routine ultra-sounds and the technician detected a hole between the left and right ventricles of the heart. This was probably my 5th or 6th ultra-sound but it was the first one that anyone had noticed anything abnormal in the heart, “Shazia recalls”
A couple days later, we had an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Rizwan Zafar, and he confirmed that the baby had Tetralogy of Fallot. This is a condition where there are 4 problems with the heart. The heart has a defect where the body pumps oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood back through the body. This causes babies to have “tet spells” or blue spells where they go blue as they lose the oxygen saturation levels in their blood. We were told that there would be a repairative surgery when she was 4-8 months old but it was extended at the age of 18 months.
Amina’s father is serving in private sector; his monthly income was not enough to bear all expenses in regards of her surgery.
A few days later, we were in Children Hospital Lahore and preparing for heart surgery. Amina had her heart surgery where they installed a BT Shunt on April 11th. Initially she seemed to recover very well. We saw in her in the Children’s Hospital ICU that evening and she only had a few IV’s and nose prongs, though we’d been warned she may be on a breathing machine and have a catheter and a tube into her stomach. We were very pleased. The next day she was eating and we were transferred up to the regular ward and out of ICU. The doctor’s were making promises that we could go home the very next day, 2 days after heart surgery.
On June 12th, at 9pm, we saw the first signs of complication from the surgery. In the next couple hours, Amina went from looking like quite a healthy recovering little baby to dying as her heart failed. They rushed her back down to ICU and resuscitated her. We were discharged from the hospital 7 days after the initial surgery.
At last the operation has been done well and all expenses were paid through Zakat and donation basis. Baby is living life like other normal children.