Liberia: Child With Heart Defect Undergoes Surgery in India

Dr. Sia Wata Camanor and Kim at the Roberts International Airport just before he and his grandmother departed for India.

The John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFK) in collaboration with Eid Foundation have sponsored Kim Fahnbulleh, a two-year old child diagnosed by the hospital of congenital heart defect, to undergo surgery at the Lisie Heart Institute Hospital in India.

The Eid Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization specialized in humanitarian aid and development assistance.

A congenital heart defect, according to research, is a problem with the structure of the heart that is mostly present at birth.

Congenital heart defect is the most common type of birth defect that involves the walls of the heart, valves and the arteries or the veins near the heart.

Dr. Sia Wata Camanor, JFK Chief Medical Officer and a Pediatrician (children doctor), informed the Daily Observer that Kim left for India on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, and is expected to return on May 9, when the procedure shall have been successfully completed.

The ailing child was accompanied by his grandmother, Vokana Saypay, who has taken care of him since the death of his mother in labor.

She said that though the procedure is life-saving, it is a major treatment that involves risk and therefore needs proper care and attention from the attending medical doctors as well as the care taker.

Dr. Camanor said taking into consideration all the risks involved, "the kid and his grandmother are expected to stay in India for three weeks."

She said the leaving of the ailing child for treatment was made possible through cooperation between JFK Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jerry Brown, the Government of India, the EID Foundation, the Indian Consul in Liberia, the India High Commission and Kenya Airways.

According to Dr. Camanor, parents of the child provided money for the plane ticket, while Lisie Hospital provides free accommodation for him and his care taker.

"We are happy to accept Kim Fahnbulleh for cardiac (heart) surgery at Lisie Hospital Cochin, Kerala. The hospital will also provide free accommodation for the patient and Mrs. Saypay," Lisie responded in a letter to the JFK.

Dr. Camanor said the child was born with the heart defect, and was diagnosed on January 15, 2018 at JFK when he was one year old. "Since then, he had been treated, and managed at the hospital children's ward."

The JFK Pediatrician said Kim's mother died while giving birth to him.

It may be recalled that on October 13, 2018, three children diagnosed of the heart defects departed the country to undergo 'free surgeries' at the Cuomo Centre for Pediatric Cardiology in Darkar, Senegal.

The surgeries were done through JFK in collaboration with La Chaîn de L'espoir, the Chain of Hope.

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