Iraq girl heads home with new lease of life

Five-year-old Iraqi girl Marwah Riyadh, who underwent free heart surgery at Narayana Hrudayalaya, is all set to return to her home country on Sunday.

Hailing from a poor family in the Babil region of Iraq, Marwah underwent surgery in the third week of June.

Marwah’s father Riyadh Haseen, who is a clerk, told Deccan Herald that India and its doctors have given his child a second life.

“I  had no options to get  my daughter treated, and even if I did, I had no money,” he said.

Speaking to reporters, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, chairman of the Narayana Hrudayalaya, said Marwah was well on the way to a full recovery.

“We have given an assurance that we will perform 10 to 15 free heart operations for needy children from Iraq. The first operation was conducted on Ameer Luaia, an 8-year-old boy from Karbala, in May 2011. He has returned and is doing fine”, he said.

“The administration of Karbala, in co-ordination with Mr Aga Sultan, is in the process of identifying children with heart conditions below the age of 10 and they are being offered treatment free of cost”, he said.

“The rest of the children are expected to be operated upon in August. Narayana Hrudayalaya is also planning to open a tele-medicine center in Iraq”, he added.

“It all started,” he recalled, “in 2005 when Mr Aga Sultan, former syndicate member of Bangalore University and VTU and former member, AICTE (SWRC), visited Iraq. He was appalled by the lack of super-speciality medical facilities. On his return, he requested our help.”

“A delegation from the management of the Holy Shrine in Karbala, Iraq, visited the city and met me with a formal request to assist the patients from Iraq. Since then, a large number of patients are being treated successfully at Narayana Hrudayalaya Health City, on an economical package. All the patients are fine and they are very happy with the facilities and satisfied about the care they were given during their stay in the hospital,” Dr Shetty said. Read more…

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