18-year underprivileged boy from Kashmir gets new lease of life at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali


Dr. Virendar Sarwal, Principal Consultant and Chief of Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Max Super Speciality Hospital Mohali addressing the media persons.

Chandigarh, October 31, 2013: Partially deaf by birth, 18-year old Asif Wani sordid tale of despair and victory is heart rending. The sixth child of a daily laborer, Abdul Azeea Wani, Asif was brought to Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali with complaints of breathlessness and palpitation. He was diagnosed with complex birth heart defects multiple conditions of Atrial septal defect, PDA and severe Pulmonary Stenosis (Congenital disorder) comprising of hole in the upper chambers of the heart, along with a flowing channel between main artery of the body and artery feeding the lungs which normally closes soon after birth. The surgery that saved the life of this innocent teenager was not only complex from the medical point of view but also gave a new lease of life to the hapless boy.

Asif’s mother Zareefa Bano was speechless with gratitude as her son narrated the story of their strife to get treatment for their son. Asif had been diagnosed with the multiple congenital heart defects as early as 2 months of his birth. His parents took him to the local doctors at Srinagar but were turned away due to lack of funds. Even the best hospital in Srinagar refused free treatment to the boy. The procedure to save him, the family was told, would cost lakhs of rupees, which was impossible for the destitute daily wager to collect. Through a common acquaintance, Max India Foundation took up the case and Asif was successfully operated upon by Dr. Virendar Sarwal, Principal Consultant and Chief of Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Max Super Speciality Hospital Mohali. The 5-hour surgery involved one week of post operative care under expert supervision of critical care experts..

Belonging to an obscure little village Handwara in the far reaches of Kupwara Distt about 10-12 Kms from LOC, Asif’s parents were devastated when they realized that he was suffering from congenital heart disease. Asif was advised immediate surgery. Helpless and penniless, Asif and his family were in a dilemma as to how they would bear the cost of such an expensive surgery. It was then that he was referred to Dr Sarwal, who volunteered to take up his case. Since Asif belonged to a poor family and his parents could not afford the expensive treatment, an acquaintance, who had been helping the family since last 2 years in arranging funds, approached Max India Foundation for financial assistance. Max India Foundation decided to help the young boy by bearing the entire cost of surgery and offering him world class medical treatment at Max Super Speciality Hospital. 

Ever since Abdul Azeea Wani, Asi’s father lost his eyesight 5-6 years back, Asif’s mother has been working as a labourer on a meager daily wage with no other source of income. We have been running from pillar to post for 2 years but all efforts to secure funds for the surgery bore no fruit. Our fellow villagers managed to gather Rs 16000 for our  travel and stay once they came to know that Max Hospital was helping us, said .

Dr. Sarwal said that since these were birth defects, these were high risk surgeries. Asif lungs had developed early hypertensive changes and it was a long on pump surgery because of three congenital defects. His pulmonary valve was too small for his age. Asif  underwent intracardiac repair on Cardiopulmonary bypass at Max Super Speciality Hospital on October 14 and soon recuperated. He would be requiring regular medication to support his heart condition.

For the past 18 years, my world was full of just pain and helplessness, said an emotional Asif, while expressing gratitude towards Max India Foundation for their support With this crippling disease, all I could do was sit or lie down on my bed and take a few faltering, painful steps to go to the toilet. It was a very depressing state of affairs for my family and me and many times I would wonder what was the point of existing like this, he remarked.

Mohini Daljeet Singh, Head, Max India Foundation said that living up to our social responsibility of an integral part of the core philosophy of Max India Foundation, we were very glad that we have been able to get an opportunity to serve the needy. We would continue doing so in the times to come with sincerity and passion, she asserted.

It may be mentioned here that under various CSR programs like immunization, health awareness and health camps, artificial limbs camp, palliative care for cancer patients,   Max India Foundation has now crossed the 1435 free and subsidized surgeries mark. Over 477147 people have benefitted from the various CSR programmes of Max India Foundation till now.

Dr. Ashutosh Sood, GM operations at Max Super Speciality Hospital Mohali said that this whole package bearing cost of Rs 2 lacs, was done entirely free of cost.  However, it was well worth it because today Asif presented a heartwarming sight. Having recovered very well, he was up and about, talking and playing like a normal teenager.. The joy on his face was priceless and nothing compared to the satisfaction of having helped tears turn into smiles, remarked Dr Sood.


Asif presented to us as a variant of NOONAN Syndrome with short stature, micrognathia, partially deaf, flat nose bridge, cervical hump and congenital heart defects in the form of triple by birth defects...A hole in the partition separating upper chambers of heart, a patent channel between aorta and the pulmonary artery which generally closes soon after birth and a narrow Pulmonary valve. Ideally they should have been repaired max by age of two years. Delay over last 15years results in overload on the lungs due to hole and the patent channel. Volume overload on the lungs leads to permanent irreversible, changes in the lung vasculature. This reverses the direction of shunt from left to right to right to left making the baby blue. This then becomes in-operable state

His Echo showed some doubts of the shunt reversal. So finally investigated with Cardiac Catheterization. Enlarging the Valve was another challenge. Trans-annular patch enlargement was the only solution not without many risks.

He was operated on 14/10/12 and Patent channel was ligated, Hole was closed with pericardial patch, Narrowed valve was enlarged with trans-annular patch from 12mm to 18mm. All was done with the help of Heart Lung Machine. Surgery lasted five and a half hours. his post operative care was smooth and discharged on 19th Oct,2013.

Post operative repair shows a successful Repair:

Heart function is normal, Hole and the patent channel are closed. Gradient across the narrowed valve has come down to normal of 23mmHg from 109mmHg.

He will now have a normal life.  www.cityairnews.com

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Thursday, October 31, 2013