Jaslin, who was born with a heart defect, had to undergo an immediate surgery in Kerala. However, her parents were stranded in Uttar Pradesh due to the lockdown at the time.

3-yr-old gets new lease of life after Kerala govt helps family with free heart surgery From Left to Right: Prince, Jaslin, couple's older child and Avani
news Human Interest Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 08:46

Avani and Prince, a couple from Uttar Pradesh, heaved a sigh of relief as they exited the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kerala’s Kochi on Wednesday, with their three-year-old daughter Jaslin.

In early May, Jaslin’s condition was deteriorating. The three-year-old, who was born with a heart defect, had to undergo an immediate surgery in Kerala. However, her parents were stranded in Uttar Pradesh due to the lockdown at the time. It was then that the Kerala government intervened and assisted the family with all the formalities for the surgery.

While Avani is a nurse who used to work as a nurse tutor in Uttar Pradesh, her husband Prince is a nurse with the Indian Railways. They have been living in Uttar Pradesh for the past nine years, and have two children. Jaslin is the younger one.

The child had undergone a surgery when she was one-year-old in Kerala. The doctors had suggested one more surgery back then.

The family had come to Kerala for a second opinion on the surgery in March, before the lockdown came into force. Since the doctors insisted on doing the surgery, Avani and Prince went back to Uttar Pradesh so that she could resign from her job and to get the transfer certificate of the elder child, to proceed with Jaslin’s treatment in Kerala. They left the two children in the care of Avani’s parents in Thrissur. 

“Then the lockdown came into effect and the doors were closed for the couple to come to Kerala,” Health Minister KK Shailaja said a press statement on Friday.

Meanwhile, the child developed uneasiness and Avani’s parents took her to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi. They were told to conduct the surgery soon. This had put the couple in further distress as they could not find ways to reach Kerala during the lockdown. 

A few days later, Avani shared her plight with KK Shailaja on a live television programme. The Health Minister called up Avani to enquire more details. She then suggested that the family get the surgery done under the government’s Hrudyam project, which provides free treatment for heart patients.  

The couple finally returned to Kerala on May 15 by train and went into quarantine for 14 days at the guest house of the hospital. 

By the time the couple reached Kerala, the health department officials had already completed all procedures for the surgery, including registration under the Hrudyam project. The surgery was conducted on May 22. Since Jaslin required one more surgery, it was performed two days later. 

Avani and Prince saw Jaslin once their quarantine period was over on May 29. “The child and her parents are back home now. The child is fine,” Shailaja teacher said.

The couple were living in a rented house in Uttar Pradesh for 15 years. They shifted to their ow new house post the surgery of the child. Though Avani wanted to resign the job, the nursing school authorities in UP, where she was a tutor, granted long leave. Prince will return to UP soon.