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A new lease of life for 10-year-old Filipino boy

Staff Reporter
Filed on August 21, 2014
A new lease of life for 10-year-old Filipino boy

10-year-old Filipino boy suffering rare congenital heart defect gets help from foundation which pays for treatment.

At the tender age of 10 when kids usually run, jump and play, for Gil Merced even walking a few steps was an arduous task. The Dubai-based Filipino boy was suffering from Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare and life-threatening congenital heart defect that does not let enough blood enter the lungs for oxygenation.

A new lease of life for 10-year-old Filipino boy (/assets/oldimages/gabi_0819.jpg)At the slightest exertion his oxygen levels would drop and he would faint. But thanks to St Mary’s Church in Dubai that drew the world’s attention to Gil’s case which was taken up by Dr Moopen’s Foundation, a not-for-profit arm of DM Healthcare, that gave him a new lease of life.

Gil, the third child of Gil Gatdula and Mercedita, could not be operated for his condition as his family could not afford to pay for the surgery, a highly complicated and expensive procedure.

Gil’s condition was deteriorating and his parents kept trying to raise funds for his treatment without success.

Under Aster DM Healthcare’s ‘Healing Touch’ Free Heart Surgery programme, Gil and his family, along with Sr Kochu Theresa from St Mary’s Convent, were flown down to Aster Medcity in Kochi, Kerala for treatment.

The very next day of his arrival, Gil was subjected to a cardiac catheterisation by Dr Anil S R, Paediatric Cardiologist, to reconfirm the diagnosis and determine the plan of treatment.

On August 5, Dr Sajan Koshy, Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon, performed one of the most complex and specialised procedures in paediatric cardiac surgery. The post-operative care was handled by the anaesthesia and critical care team led by Dr Suresh Nair.

According to the doctors, Gil is on his way to living a normal life. He was discharged on August 14 and will be staying in Kochi for another week. He will then fly back to Dubai where his follow-up care will be done at the Aster Jubilee Medical Complex. All expenses of Gil’s surgery and medical care were borne by Dr Moopen’s Foundation, which has already done over 20 free surgeries for Filipinos.

“Dr Moopen’s Foundation is committed to the cause of lending a helping hand to those in need, especially children. We also closely monitor the patient’s health long enough after the procedure is done,” said Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman of the foundation.

“It is a proud moment for all of us at Aster Medcity. Gil Merced is a fighter and we are happy that we could bring together all the facilities that were needed to heal his little heart and give him a normal life.”

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