Daughters’ surgeries leave nurse happy

Priyanka Chand, left, speaks at the Gift of Life certifi cate presentation while daughter Amyra Prasad, 3, and Assistant Minister for Housing & Local Government Lenora Qereqeretabua look on at the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Heart Hospital in Nasese, Suva. Picture: ATU RASEA

Priyanka Chand was all smiles on Tuesday as both her young daughters were given a second chance at life.

Her daughters, five-year-old Kimyra Prasad and three-year-old Amyra, underwent successful heart surgeries at the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Heart Hospital in Nasese, Suva.

Ms Chand, who is a nurse at the Savusavu Hospital in Vanua Levu, said her family travelled to Suva for her daughters to undergo the free heart treatment offered by a surgical team from India.

She said after getting her daughters screened by the Sai Prema Foundation outreach team in Savusavu, she was told her daughters were diagnosed with patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA — a congenital heart disease, which developed after birth.

Her eldest daughter, Kimyra, had her surgery last week on Tuesday while three-year-old daughter Amyra went under the knife last Saturday.

Ms Chand thanked the team at the Foundation for providing free heart surgery for her children.

“When I found out that both of my daughters had PDA, it was difficult for me to accept,” she said.

“My daughters did not show any signs or symptoms of PDA.

“Then in January we received a call from Sai Prema Foundation that both my daughters were on the list for surgery and we came to Suva.”

Ms Chand said she was feeling disheartened having to watch her children go through life threatening surgeries but she said she had faith in the wonderful surgical team at the hospital.

“It was hard to let them go with the surgeons.

“After my eldest daughter’s successful surgery, I was very happy and it made me strong for my second daughter as she was next,” she said.

“My message to all the parents, please get your children screened.

“It doesn’t mean that they’re not having any issues that they do not have any heart problems because both my daughters were healthy and fit too,” the Savusavu nurse said.

Ministry of Housing and Local Government assistant Minister Lenora Qereqeretabua while officiating at the Gift of Life certificate presentation, acknowledged the services provided by the children’s heart hospital and the overseas surgical team.

The surgical team from Mumbai in India has been conducting free open heart surgeries in the country and would be completing its last round of surgeries this week.

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