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Amrita Hospital, Kochi: Free heart surgeries for nine children from African nations 

Children from Africa who received heart surgeries
The children ranged in age from 5 months to 14 years and hailed from The Gambia, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Zambia.

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20 December 2023
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Healthcare Humanitarian

Nine children from impoverished families in Africa underwent heart surgery at Amrita Hospital, Kochi. All the patients had congenital heart diseases, but could not afford treatment in their home countries. In partnership with Rotary International’s “Gift of Life Project”, the procedures were done completely free-of-cost, including travel expenses. 

The recipients were Fathomata Bojang (14 years old) and Isha Tawaredu (6 years old) from The Gambia; Ashley Kalyago (6 months old), Priscilla Chelangat (7 years old), and Alia Bitibwa (3 years old) from Uganda; Lamine Toure (10 years old) and Matar Seese (3 years old) from Ethiopia; and Tinse Abraham Hailey (11 months old) and Cheelala Langi (5 months old) from Zambia.  

“Our children now have surgical scars on their bodies and they will never go away, but these are wounds of joy in life. We cannot forget the love that India has shown us,” said Cheelala’s father, Pepino Langi.  

Dr R Krishnakumar holds a baby who received surgery
Dr R Krishnakumar is Amrita Hospital, Kochi’s Head of Paediatric Cardiology.

Said Dr AC Peter, Gift of Life’s National Coordinator for India, “The aim of the project is to make every child’s heart smile, regardless of country, language or religion.” 

Amrita Hospital, Kochi’s medical team included Dr R Krishnakumar, Head of Paediatric Cardiology; Dr PK Brijesh, Paediatric and Adult Congenital Heart Surgery; Dr Balu Vaidyanathan, Paediatric Cardiology & Head of Fetal Cardiology Division; and Dr Mahesh K, Paediatric Cardiology.  

The children started returning home in stages on December 18th, depending on their recovery levels. 

Birthday party for 14-year-old Fathomata Bojang
Everyone celebrated 14-year-old Fathomata Bojang’s birthday during her post-surgical recovery.

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