Wait was worth it for Nisha

Farzana Nisha was about to lose her patience.

She could not wait for the three-hour heart operation to end so she could see her two-year-old son.

Fear overcame her after three hours and there seemed to be no end in sight to the surgery.

Her son Rishab Prakash had a hole in his heart and the doctors performed a five-hour surgery for Scimitar syndrome –– a rare congenital heart defect in which the pulmonary veins are attached to the right atrium or to various veins draining into the right atrium and not the left.

Rishab weighed only 3.45kg at birth. Three weeks later, doctors found he had a hole in his heart.

Since then, he has been visiting the hospital with his mother. He was a healthy boy, said Ms Nisha, and enjoyed playing outdoors with his sister Navia Sheryl Prakash at home in Koronivia, Nausori.

“It was after the operation that I came to know about his sickness. The doctors said they had fixed the hole in his heart but they had to untangle some arteries of the heart,” said Ms Nisha.

She said Rishab’s veins were tangled around the right lung and joined to the stomach where blood was being pumped.

“The doctors chose to continue with the operation since they already had Rishab in the operation theatre,” she said.

The doctors knew Rishab’s condition and were not prepared to perform the operation, said Ms Nisha.

“But I am happy the surgery was successful and that the doctors went ahead with the operation or else, we would have had to work on other means to get my son well,” she said.

Rishab is in the intensive care unit and on a ventilator. Ms Nisha said her son’s health was slowly improving and expected to be discharged soon.

Rishab was not the only member of the family with a heart disorder. His sister is a dextrocardia patient –– her heart is on the right side.

Doctors did not raise any concern over her condition and Ms Nisha said Navia was doing well as other children her age.

“We are blessed that these foreign doctors have come to Fiji and are doing free heart surgery.

“I was told my son needed $30,000 for an operation overseas.

“It would have taken me and my husband many years to come up with that money but I am grateful to these doctors for giving my son a better chance at life like other normal boys,” she said.

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