It is often believed that relations are made by heart. And sure enough, that stands true as that could be witnessed at Fortis Hospital, Mulund as little Aaradhya left for her Taloja home after being discharged from the hospital.
Aaradhya used to visit the hospital every fortnight and had formed a rather close bond with the nurses, doctors and other staff.
“Aaradhya would come often to the hospital for her treatment. She is very cooperative and smart. If you tell her, ‘Aaradhya eat this medicine’, she would eat just about anything. She is a smiling glory, the spirited kid. She is a family to us,” said Dr S Narayani, Zonal Director, Fortis hospital.
So much was her fondness for the little one that the day she was shifted from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the doctors who were in charge of her at the ICU made a cake for her. The video of which was posted by Yogesh, Aaradhya’s father immediately.
The Mule family’s journey to find a heart for Aaradhya started in April 2016 when Aaradhya was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a viral infection affecting the function of the heart. Her parents immediately started looking for a donor’s heart. They faced several challenges as paediatric heart transplants are not common in India. Globally, only a handful of such heart transplants take place.
“We came to know of Aaradhya’s heart condition on Gudi Padwa (Maharashtrian new year). That morning she had complained of stomach ache and was vomiting. We were to leave for Pune, but decided to take her to a doctor first,” said Yogesh. Her parents were shocked when the doctor asked them to hospitalise the child and that too in the ICU as her heartbeat was 180 beats/minute. Heartbeat ranging between 80 and 120 beats/minute is normal for a child of three to four years of age.
“Aaradhya and her family members are champions. They started off the fight with a disease, out in the open and in the process ended up increasing awareness among the general public. Not only did they increase the awareness about the disease, but also about the heart transplant. I am inspired by their spirit,” said Dr Swati Garekar, a senior paediatric cardiologist at Fortis hospital.