1-Year-Old Umair’s Success Story
“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” – John F. Kennedy
Since our inception in 2012, we at Pakistan Children’s Heart Foundation (PCHF), have helped 2967 children get heart surgery at a total cost of PKR 1.1 billion. This is the tremendously uplifting success story of Umair, a 1-year-old ‘Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Warrior’, who rose to an unprecedented challenge.
Umair was diagnosed with a rare, potentially fatal CHD known as Tetralogy Of Fallot (TOF), when he was a mere 4 months old. At a time when parents are cherishing blissful moments with their child, Umair’s parents were left absolutely devastated.
In TOF, four related heart defects change the way blood flows to the lungs and through the heart. In most cases, too little blood goes to the lungs. This low-oxygen blood then circulates to the rest of the body, and too little oxygen reaches the body tissues. Children with TOF often have cyanosis, a blue or purple tint to the skin, lips and fingernails.
After getting Umair checked at a private hospital, his parents discovered that they would be unable to afford the required treatment for him, a relatively expensive procedure called a Total Correction, which costs up to PKR 450,000. Umair’s father works as a driver at a courier company, and is the sole provider for his entire family, which includes his wife and 3 children.
As they had limited resources at their disposal, Umair’s parents were referred to us for financial support. Being amongst the most renowned organizations in the country for providing life-saving heart surgeries to children suffering from CHD, they came to us with high hopes.
Every year, around 60,000 children are born with CHD in Pakistan and a large majority of these children are unable to get the treatment required, due to lack of facilities, personnel and the high costs involved. That is where we step in. We provide the highest quality of care for children born with heart disease, irrespective of their financial means.
Blessedly, because of benevolent donors, we were able to swiftly arrange all the required funds for Umair’s heart surgery. After a quick and thorough patient registration process, the procedure was scheduled to be done at our very own Pediatric Cardiac Care Centre at the University of Lahore Teaching Hospital (ULTH).
Dr. Salman A. Shah, a renowned American board certified Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon, and someone we proudly have as a Medical Advisory Board Member, was to perform the treatment, which widens the passageway between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery to improve blood flow to the lungs.
Umair and his family were well taken care of before the surgery. From accommodation to all hospital-related formalities, we ensured that they wouldn’t have to experience any sort of hurdles or difficulties. All we needed from them was their prayers.
With a phenomenal team of healthcare professionals behind Dr. Salman A. Shah, and world-class facilities being available, we were undoubtedly fully prepared for the surgery. After a few hours in the operation theatre, which were unimaginably hard for Umair’s parents, our team was delighted to inform them that the surgery was a resounding success!
Umair had survived CHD, the world’s most common birth defect, and only after a few days under special care at the hospital, he was discharged. We were thrilled beyond words to have saved Umair’s life, and in turn being able to shape a brighter future for his entire family, who were eternally grateful to us and sincerely wished for our continued success for years to come.
For CHD affected families, no matter how hard things get, no matter how impossible things may seem, we at PCHF are here for you. Legendary Pakistani cricketer, Misbah Ul Haq, is also alongside us on the journey to conquering CHD in Pakistan, by helping build the nation’s first dedicated, state-of-the-art Children’s Heart Hospital & Research Institute (CHHRI), as a PCHF Board Member.
You can also join us on our mission, which is to ensure that not a single child suffering from CHD in Pakistan remains untreated, and donate towards children’s heart surgeries or hospital construction at: