“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – John F. Kennedy
Since our inception in 2012, we at Pakistan Children’s Heart Foundation (PCHF), have helped 2851 children get heart surgery at a total cost of over PKR 1 billion. This is the success story of a tremendously resilient infant, Hussain, patient number 2843.
Just a mere 3 days after birth, this beautiful little child was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) known as VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect). This was extremely distressing news for his parents, and even though Hussain was fine for a month or so, his health eventually took a turn for the worse. He even suffered from pneumonia at one point.
VSD, also known as a hole in the heart, is a common heart defect that’s present at birth. The hole occurs in the septum (wall) that separates the heart’s lower ventricles (chambers) and allows blood to pass from the left to the right side of the heart. The oxygen-rich blood then gets pumped back to the lungs instead of out to the body, causing the heart to work harder.
All the way from the city of Khanewal, Hussain’s family initially took him to the prestigious, Children’s Hospital Lahore, for treatment. That’s where they found out about their child needing life-saving heart surgery. However, there were over 15000 children on the waiting list there. That was not enough to put an end to their search though. In their ongoing quest to save their child’s life, they were referred to us by renowned Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Asim Khan.
Along with needing help to get Hussain his heart surgery as soon as possible, his family also needed financial support. Hussain’s father works as a labourer and supports the entire family on his own, which includes his wife and 2 children. The planned treatment for Hussain was a relatively expensive procedure that his family found unaffordable.
Every year around 60,000 children are born with CHD in Pakistan, and a large majority of these children are unable to get the treatment required, due to lack of facilities, personnel and the high costs involved. That is where we step in. We provide the highest quality of care for children with heart disease, irrespective of their financial means.
After going through the efficient patient registration process at our head office located inside the University Of Lahore (UOL), right next to the construction site of our hospital, Hussain’s surgery was scheduled at Ittefaq Hospital, one of our partner hospitals. Everything from accommodation to hospital related formalities was well taken care of by our tremendous team. Dr. Asim was to perform the procedure himself.
Thankfully, with a world-class surgeon and his incredible team onboard, and also thanks to the support of our phenomenal donors, all arrangements, including 100 percent of the required funds, were successfully made. Prayers of Hussain’s loved ones were all that was needed now.
Blessedly, the surgery turned out to be a resounding success and Hussain was given a new lease of life! His family couldn’t contain their happiness and thanked us wholeheartedly for treating all of them so well. Their little bundle of joy was discharged as a ‘CHD Warrior’.
1 in 100 children are born with CHD. If they get timely access to quality treatment, they can have a fair chance at living a normal life. These children, who deserve a brighter future, vitally require our help and support.
Legendary Pakistani cricketer, Misbah Ul Haq, is also alongside us on the journey to conquering CHD in Pakistan, by helping build the nation’s first dedicated, state-of-the-art Children’s Heart Hospital & Research Institute (CHHRI), as a PCHF Board Member.
You can donate towards children’s heart surgeries or hospital construction at: https://www.pchf.org.pk/donate