Only a ‘heart’ can save Suhana

Suhana Shaikh, a 14-year-old girl is suffering from a serious heart condition called cardiomyopathy. She urgently needs to undergo a heart transplant. Her father, a BEST bus driver, has made all the efforts he can to collect funds for her surgery. More than the disease itself, the Shaikh's have been pained by the ignorance of people regarding heart donation

Only a ‘heart’ can save Suhana
(left panel) Suhana Shaikh with her father Azad Alli Adam Shaikh at Fortis hospital, Mulund

A week after My Medical Mantra reported about the heart condition of Suhana Shaikh, the family is still awaiting a phone call from some donor across the country.

More than the diseases itself, the Shaikh’s have been pained by the ignorance of people regarding heart donation.

Over a month ago, Suhana was admitted to Fortis hospital and was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a heart condition wherein the heart’s pumping efficiency drops considerably. And the heart becomes very weak and enlarged, thereby affecting the blood supply towards the lungs, liver and other organs.

“We could never believe that Suhana could have an illness like this. Every time somebody calls, I pick up the phone immediately, only hoping that there is a donor for my daughter on the other side,” said Azad Alli Adam Shaikh, Suhana’s father who is a BEST bus driver by profession and earns Rs 18, 000 a month.

Knowing the importance of organ donation, Suhana’s father himself has pledged his organs.

The family has been spending Rs 14, 000 a day. The financial condition of the family is a secondary problem. “There have been at least two brain-deaths in the hospital since we admitted Suhana. However, there is very little awareness about organ donation that no family has come forward to donate a heart for my daughter,” said Sultana Shaikh, Suhana’s mother.

Only a ‘heart’ can save Suhana
Suhana Shaikh

A heart transplant is the option for this ailment, say doctors. Dr Swati Garekar, a Paediatric Cardiologist at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, explained, “Suhana has a large heart with dropping efficiency of pumping blood. Initially, when she was admitted, her heart was functioning at about 20 per cent, but now it is functioning only at 10 per cent. Therefore, Suhana urgently needs a heart transplant.”

She added, “Suhana was re-hospitalised with complaints of weakness and she was unable to keep her foot down, she has been re-admitted to the ICU at Fortis Child Heart Mission, Fortis Hospital, Mulund and is on continuous IV drip to support her heart, we are continuously monitoring her and might put her on a ventilator if required. At present, her condition is stable.”

Since April this year, the family has been running from pillar to post in search of such a heart donor as well as funds for the same. Azad Alli added, “We have spent about 5 lakh rupees since April and now the doctors say that the heart transplant will cost us another 20 lakh rupees. With not many helping hands, it is becoming very difficult for us.”

To help the family in any possible way, you could contact Mr Shaikh on 7738572084