Monday, April 15, 2024
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New-born Viliame gets ‘Gift of Life’

Five-week-old Viliame Koroi Vonolele is the youngest patient to successfully undergo a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) heart surgery at the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital in Nasese.

Vonolele’s mother, Loata Qaranivalau revealed that at birth in June, the doctors at the Lautoka Hospital informed them about her son’s heart condition.

The 30-year-old without any hesitation brought the child to the Children’s Hospital, the same place where her third son underwent heart surgery in April this year.

“I have four sons now and two of them were born normal but the other two were born with heart issues. When my third son was five months old, he started to have a bad cough and we took him to the health centre three times. We were told that it was bronco laities but we didn’t see any change and it kept getting worse. It came to a point where he struggled to breathe and we opted to see a private doctor where we got to know about his heart situation.”

“The Private doctor informed us that he has a murmur in his heart and referred us to Sai Prema to get a heart scan. Here we got to know that he is suffering from PDA failure. The gap was supposed to close in the first two months but it didn’t and caused continuous coughing and chest pain.”

“He was susceptible to infections and changes in weather more frequently and we had to be very careful in taking care of him. Before the surgery, he was admitted at the Lautoka Hospital five times. We really had to struggle a lot to keep him away from infections.”

The Navo in Nadi resident said she and her husband, Metuisela Vonolele, who is a labourer at the Valelevu Health Centre, were eager to welcome their fourth baby but had no idea that he would also face the same heart condition.

“When my third son was around eight months old, I got pregnant with my fourth son, Vili and I didn’t know that the same thing would happen to him. When I gave birth and found out that he had the same heart condition, we rushed to Sai Prema.”

“I was scared and wondered if he would survive or not because he was just born. I wasn’t sure if the surgery would be successful because he was just a few weeks old and we didn’t have any idea how the treatment would take place.”

“We were told that it will be an open heart surgery and we knew there would be risks around it. I felt kind of downhearted when the doctors here informed us that his kidney is failing; that really scared me.”

Qaranivalau said she is thankful to the surgeons and the Sai Prema Foundation for providing immediate treatment to both of their children.

“There was a lot of emotional and mental support from the foundation and they encouraged us a lot. As mothers, it’s very hard to see your children in pain. The nurses kept checking on us during our stay at the hospital. They provided us with the best facility and their service is just great.”

“The cardiologist and the surgeons managed to save my son and I really relied on them. We came back here because we had a lot of confidence and faith in the team here.”

“When his kidney started to pick up, the surgeons said that they can conduct the surgery and that relieved me a bit and we are really thankful and happy that our children can live a normal life now.”

“I just want to encourage the mothers that if you see different signs or symptoms in your child’s breathing, just seek immediate help and come to Sai Prema because this hospital provides the best medical service your child may need,” he added.

Meanwhile, a total of 18 surgeries were conducted in a span of two weeks at the Hospital this month.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist |


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