City’s first paediatric heart transplant patient, Sweden D’Souza, scores 63.38 per cent in HSC exam. The Vikhroli resident had underwent heart transplant in January 2016 after she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy — an end-stage heart disease.
“It is a moment of pride for us. She was not able to attend school for more than eight months because of her heart disease and transplant. But with her dedication and hard work, she scored much more than our expectation,” said Anthony, Sweden’s father who works as a security guard.
While her father is happy with her recovery and the fact that she has resumed normal life, Sweden has already decided to pursue Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS).
“I have decided to pursue BMS. My aim is to start working at the earliest and help my parents financially,” said Sweden. The 18-year-old has started attending computer classes. “There are no more restrictions on me. I am living life like a normal person,” said Sweden.
Talking about the tough times faced by the family when Sweden was battling the heart disease, Anthony said, “Sweden was homebound for two months before she underwent heart transplant. Doctors had given her six months ultimatum if she didn’t undergo heart transplant. With every passing day, she was inching close to death. On January 2, we received the call from the hospital regarding a heart donation. Life has changed for our daughter since then.”
It took her three months to step outside the 10x 6 feet air-conditioned room that was created in their one room kitchen flat in Vikhroli. “I was not allowed to step outside my room for three months. After that, I only was allowed to step outside the house for 5-7 minutes and that too when there are not many people around. I even wrote my class 11 exam from home,” said Sweden.
Overjoyed doctors say, there is a need to spread awareness among people and paediatricians to increase the number of donors and recipients.
Dr Vijay Agarwal, paediatric heart transplant surgeon at Fortis hospital who also operated on Sweden said all the paediatric heart transplant cases at the hospital, including Sweden are doing well and leading a normal life.
“The other important part of any transplant is taking the immunosuppressive drugs on time to ensure the body does not reject the transplanted organ. We also have support group that helps getting over small hiccups faced by the parents and the patients. They motivate each other, share tips on keeping infection at bay from the patient etc,” said Agarwal.