We have 13 kids in India right now for cardiac care. Many could be treated by procedure, and did not need open surgery. For Tofik, age 18 we hoped he could have ballooning of his dangerously narrowed mitral valve, but he was found to have an atrium filled with blood clot, despite a year on blood-thinners. He had surgery and is recovering well. Several others had aberrant blood vessels, known as PDAs (patent ductus arteriosus) closes, or holes in the heart closed.
We have a 2 year old boy, blind with bilateral cataracts, have his dutus closed and is getting eye surgery. By the end of 2 weeks, he will walk with energy and see of the first time in his life. His mom is with him to help him through the process.
And we are doing more than hearts. Bilal, an 18 year old with a complicated problem in his cervical spine. He has Chiari malformation of the brain, and a deformity of the lower brainstem, upper medulla, and lower pons. I consulted the eminent expert on this, Professor Arnold Menezes of University of Iowa, who advised us on the approach. In India, he underwent posterior decompression of C1 and C2 and instrumentation with 2 rods and 4 screws. He is now out of bed and going in the right direction.
UPDATE: 10 of these kids returning from heart surgery in India tomorrow!
NOTE: Rick will be in New York on Oct 18-20, and then in Dallas from Oct 20-25. He will speak at the Rotary Club of Dallas on Wed, Oct 21 and the DFW World Affairs Council on Oct 22.
Dr. Rick Hodes