Spending invaluable time with your 1-year-old child is an experience so blissful that no parent can really put it into words. However, some have to go through the greatest of challenges to ensure their family’s happiness. This is the immensely moving story of how little Zunair’s parents helped him become a ‘Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Warrior’.
Zunair was diagnosed with a complex CHD known as Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA), a rare and critical heart defect in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed. This leads to a shortage of oxygen-rich blood in the body.
Symptoms include cyanosis (bluish skin colour), shortness of breath, weak pulse and a lack of appetite. It occurs when the baby’s heart is developing. Several factors during pregnancy can increase the risk of a child being born with TGA, like smoking, drinking alcohol, viral illnesses etc.
Some children manage to survive with this disease for several years before needing treatment. However, Zunair required life-saving heart surgery at the tender age of 1. His parents, in the search for treatment which originated in their homeland of Kashmir, eventually made their way to Lahore, a city which has remarkable medical facilities.
They visited Dr. Asim Khan, a world-class Pakistani Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon who informed them about the planned treatment and its cost. Zunair’s father, with limited resources at his disposal, found it unaffordable. He works as a labourer and supports his whole family, which includes his wife and 4 children, on his own.
Dr. Asim then referred them to us for financial support. Fortunately for them, they came to exactly the right place. We have years of experience treating children born with CHD and saving their precious lives. We also have an incredible donor base, extremely generous people and organizations who support our cause.
The funds needed for the surgery were arranged swiftly because of them. Zunair’s father, despite his financial distress, also commendably managed to arrange around 40% of the required amount. Once the funds were taken care of, preparations for the surgery were initiated.
Zunair and his family were facilitated in the best possible way. From pre-op. to post-op. we pride ourselves on ensuring that everything is aptly dealt with, and that the family faces no hurdles whatsoever. Everything from hospital-related formalities to doctor consultations to accommodation arrangements are handled by our tremendously competent team.
With phenomenal healthcare professionals also on board, all that was needed now were the prayers of Zunair’s loved ones. Their support throughout the whole process was inspirational and now that they had played their part, they were longing to hear some good news.
Blessedly, after a difficult few hours in which the operation took place, we were delighted to inform Zunair’s parents that his surgery was a massive success! Zunair had defeated CHD and was an infant who could now go on to live life to the fullest, something his parents dreamed of, and for turning that dream into reality, they expressed eternal gratitude to us.
1 in 100 children are born with CHD, the world’s most common birth defect. We hope that these stories inspire even more people to join us on our journey, so that we can continue shaping a brighter future. We are genuinely leaving no stone unturned on our mission to ensuring that not a single child suffering from CHD in Pakistan remains untreated.
You can help further our cause either by donating towards child heart treatment, or the construction of Pakistan’s first dedicated Children’s Heart Hospital & Research Institute (CHHRI) at:
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