Haitian kids get heart surgery at Shetty hospital

| 06/11/2014

(CNS): Following the commitment by Dr Devi Shetty before Health City Cayman Islands opened that it would offer life-saving operations to children in need from around the region free of charge, four young Haitian patients returned home last week after successful heart operations. The youngsters, aged between 6 and 16, travelled to Cayman last month for the vital surgeries performed by the Shetty hospital’s surgeons led by Dr Binoy Chattuparambil, a senior cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, and Dr. Sripadh Upadhya, a senior paediatric cardiologist. The children were identified by Haiti Cardiac Alliance, a US-based charity, as being in desperate need of the heart operations.

Owen Robinson, Executive Director of Haiti Cardiac Alliance, said there are more than 200 children on its surgical waiting list, a number that grows by the week.

"Half have conditions that can't be dealt with in Haiti because they are too complex. These young people may also need intensive care after surgery. We are so excited to be working with Health City because we knew they would have the facilities and abilities that we don't have in Haiti right now."

Robinson said the surgeries went incredibly well and the youngpeople were up and about soon after surgery, eating, smiling and relieved they were through the ordeal.

"Staff at Health City were incredible, not only within the hospital, but they also went shopping for toys and snacks for the children," Robinson said. "They went out of their way to make the patients feel at home."

Dr Chandy Abraham, Medical and Facility Director at Health City, said when his team met with Haiti Cardiac Alliance last year they realised the need.

“Haiti Cardiac Alliance does a tremendous job in pushing hard to scale up surgical opportunities in Haiti and overseas, and we were privileged to assist them in reaching their goal of helping those in critical need of help," he added.

The surgeries were the first performed under Health City's partnership with Have a Heart, a philanthropic organisation formed in 2000 by Harry Chandi and Manu Chatlani. Digicel, also facilitated transportation for the young patients and their parents to and from the Cayman Islands.

Raul Nicholson-Coe, Chief Operating Officer with Digicel Cayman, said the company was committed to giving back to the communities where it operates and he said he hoped this was the beginning of a much wider initiative. Owen Robinson said Digicel's contribution was significant.

"Without the use of the company's plane the youngsters would have needed to travel via the United States and would require transit visas – adding thousands of more dollars in airfares which was not a viable option," he said.

Gene Thompson said Have a Heart Cayman looked forward to extending its charitable offering to many others in dire need.

"It's a blessing to see how much better those children were when then left Cayman and the new lease on life they had," he said.

See video about the surgeries here

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mr bush thanks you for this hospital 

  2. Jordanian says:

    Thanks mr bush too for bring shetty here to cayman 

    thanks doc shetty too


  3. Anonymous says:

    Obviously good news but what about all those droves of wealthy Americans who were going to be coming hers to Shetty and by doing so reinvigorating the economy. It just is not happening, is it?

  4. ... says:

    This is great but I would still like to know where they are getting the spare parts from…

    • Anonymous says:

      Dumb,dumb the article plainly says heart surgery,not heart transplant.there are many types of heart surgeries.People are tired of all the negative things in this country,Please look on the positive side,the next thing will be said is that they are only helping foreigners,just wait and see

    • anonymous says:

      At the risk of several thumbs down, where do you think?  Let's hope ebola doesn't make it to India.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What about the Caymanian children? Furriners getting all the benefits again! How did this help our economy?

    • Anon says:

      Aaahh, that's so very Christian of you. Wonderful. Just wonderful!

    • Anonymous says:

      It was a child!!! Good enough for me!! I could not care if the child was from Mars!!! All I know is that a child got helped. Whats so wrong with that?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great Job Shetty!!! Caymanians are honored to have you here! 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    How refreshing to read some positive news for a change! Congrats to everyone involved and thanks to the doctors and staff for their efforts and dedication.

  8. UHUHUH says:

    I'd like to thank everyone involved in performing this chartable deed, but a special thanks to the generous gift of Cardiac surgery from Dr. Shetty and his capable staff at Health City Cayman.

    What a wonderful feeling to know that such kindness and compassion still exists in our Islands. And I hope and pray, that each of us will take the time to look within ourselves and realize that we can all contribute in some way to help those who are in need. Let us resolve to make Cayman a place where others will recognize us for the people we  once were, a people who were known as the most generous and kind people in the Caribbean. Let us follow Dr. Shetty's lead and start by recognizing that "charity begins at home" and make that phrase our mantra by living our lives in such a manner that no-one on our Island will have to suffer from the things which caused these children to be here!

    God has blessed many of us with prosperity so let us share the blessings. Let us not let greed and selfishness rule our lives. Let us stop and realize, that the greatest gift we can give is that of helping others. So let us forget about "self" for a change and become "selfless givers," and in doing this "we" will become a beacon for others to follow.

    So thank you Dr. Shetty and all those involved for giving hope to three beautiful children who may have already given up. May this story have many sequels leading to a revival of Cayman Kindness.

    May God Bless Dr. Shetty and the people of this Island! 


  9. Anonymous says:

    This is great! Thanks Gene, Dr Shetty and all involved.

  10. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Hats off to Dr. Shetty Health City and Digcell! Humans acting like human beings. Makes you thankful. And gives you hope.