At a time when children his age were enjoying their carefree existence, six-year-old Aditya Shinde was doing the rounds of the hospital, fighting for survival. Aditya Shinde was born with holes in his heart and his arteries were just to weak to keep his heart pumping. In 2011, 8 months-old Aditya underwent an open-heart surgery in Bengaluru. In 2012, Aditya had his second open-heart surgery. In 2015, doctors told Rupesh Shinde, Aditya’s father that their son will not survive as his heart pumping had dropped to 20 per cent. They said Aditya had just 4 or 5 months.
“Day by day, my son’s condition was getting worse. We had no choice but to see him in pain, all the time. After Aditya’s second surgery, he couldn’t walk. He used to just sit at one place all day long. He had problems in breathing, sometimes he would complain OF headaches, and, sometimes he used to just vomit for long hours,” says Rupesh Shinde, a driver in Mumbai.
Aditya needed a heart transplant on priority in order to survive. But, a transplant was a big decision and a roadblock for Rupesh as he didn’t have enough money to fund the transplant.
“For first six years no one in our house slept at nights. We all were just so worried for Aditya every day, we kept thinking whether he will be able to make it or not in the morning. When doctors told me the only option FOR Aditya TO survive is a heart transplant, I felt like there is no ground under my feet. I was just so numb… I knew I don’t have that much funds to sponsor a heart transplant for my boy,” added Rupesh.
Then luck turned in their favour. When Rupesh told his story to his employers they immediately took charge of the situation and raised necessary funds within a week. Meena Sriram. Rupesh’s financer helped raise Rs 25 lakh for Aditya’s surgery and approximately Rs 5 lakh for Rupesh and his family’s to stay in Chennai.
The Transplant: 6 Months And A Wait For Our Phone To Ring
“Doctors in Mumbai told us to go for a heart transplant in Chennai. When the money was arranged, thanks to my employers, next day we just packed our bags and reached Chennai. All the formalities were taken care of by the hospital there. First Aditya’s name was listed on the waiting list of organ donation in the hospital. They took the charge of all the formalities. We were told the waiting is for six and half months. They also said we can get a call from the hospital any day, anytime for the organ and then we will have to come immediately to the hospital. We had no choice but to wait every single day for the organ and our phone to ring.”
During the waiting period, Aditya was under observation.
“We had to do a lot of back and forth to the hospital as Aditya was not keeping well. We were just praying that he survives this difficult phase,” added Rupesh.
Six months later Rupesh’s phone rang and it was a call from the hospital to inform about the availability of a heart for their son Aditya’s transplant.
“We didn’t take much of our time and just reached the hospital, but, we came back with empty hands. Heart transplant didn’t take place because the organ never matched with Aditya’s body. The same incident happened with us not twice, thrice, but, 10 times. We were all very depressed and started to lose all our hope,” said Rupesh.
11th time the heart transplant was successful. Rupesh adds,
“We were told to come to the hospital by 11 pm, Aditya was immediately taken to the Operation Theater. The doctors informed us that they are taking Aditya 2-hours before the normal time because his chest will take time to open as he has already undergone two open heart surgeries. At 6 am in the morning heart arrived from Hyderabad and finally, we got a good news that his heart transplant was successful.”
Aditya got his heart transplanted in November 2016, today, he can walk, run, cycle and eat normally. He’s living a normal life like other children.
“It feels so good when I see Aditya now playing like a normal kid, I would just like to say, ‘Thank you’ to that one person because of whom I see Aditya playing and living a healthy life. He/She will always be in our prayers. We don’t know whose heart is in Aditya’s body, we just know the heart arrived from Hyderabad. I cannot thank the person enough. And my employers because of whom this heart transplant became a reality,” signs off Rupesh.