Two Iraqi girls who were living in a camp in the war-torn country, and suffering from advanced stages of cardiac ailments, have received a new lease of life after undergoing treatment at a hospital here, officials said on Sunday. The girls, Staish Azad Khalil (2) and Naveen Yaseen (7), were critical and would not have survived long without medical attention, doctors said.
Upon their arrival recently to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) from Erbil, where they were living in a camp for internally displaced people, the children were evaluated, the hospital said in a statement. "Staish was found to have a seriously malformed heart condition where half of the heart was missing congenitally due to which there was a shortage of oxygen in her body. She was frequently turning blue and had a hard time breathing properly," the statement said.
After echocardiography and cardiac catheterisation studies, it was ensured that a surgical option could be offered, the doctors said. "On July 22, Dr Raja Joshi, Chairman, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and his team of doctors performed the first stage of complex repair of heart," the hospital said.
After the surgery, Staish now has safe levels of oxygen in the body and normal breathing. She will come back for the second and last stage of surgery after four years, the statement said. She was discharged from the hospital on July 30 and is ready to fly back to Iraq to celebrate the holy festival of Eid with the rest of her family, the statement said.
"Naveen was found to have a medically manageable problem and once therapy was successfully established, she also is deemed fit to fly back home," it said. Hospital authorities said they were contacted about a fortnight ago by two NGOs working in a war-torn area of Erbil in Iraq.
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