Cardiac team breathes life into Mahsa Rawfi from Afghanistan

Posted on : Dec 24, 2015


Kochi : Technology in the form of google translate came in handy when the doctors at Aster Medcity were faced with challenge of sourcing the medical history of an Afghan child whose parents spoke only Dari, a variety of Persian spoken in Afghanistan.

3-month old Mahsa Rawfi, had turned a shade of blue, and was struggling to breathe when she was brought into the hospital on December 09, 2015. With the help of google translate, the medical team at Aster Medcity, were able to communicate with Mahsa’s family, retrieve her medical history, and correctly diagnose her with single ventricle defect. This is a rare disorder affecting the lower chamber of the heart. With Mahsa, it was a case of Pulmonary Atresia, where the blood vessel that connects with the lungs was not properly developed, thus severing all connections between the heart and the lungs. This leads to respiratory distress, with the child not receiving enough oxygen.

The normal practice in such cases is to have a three stage surgery, but the medical team decided to go ahead with a riskier but more practical two stage surgery given the case in point. The surgical team lead by Dr Sajan Koshy, Senior Consultant Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Anil S.R is Consultant Paediatric Cardiology and Dr. Musthafa Janeel Senior Specialist, Paediatric Cardiac Surgery performed a 5-hr surgery, and at the end of it, the oxygen intake was increased from 60% to 85%.

According to an MoU signed between Hamid Karzai, the former President of Afghanistan and Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman, DM Healthcare, 25 deserving children from the country are eligible for free heart treatment and surgery under Dr Azad Moopen Foundation’s ‘Save Little Hearts’ initiative. So far, eight children from Afghanistan have received treatment under this programme at Aster Medcity and MIMS Kozhikode both, D M Healthcare run hospitals in Kerala.

Mahsa Rawfi’s surgery was a part of this initiative. She will have to undergo another procedure in the second stage, when she turns 5 years of age. For now, Mahsa and her parents can breathe easy.

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