Published April 15, 2022
We’re delighted to welcome pediatric cardiologist Dr. Mahesh Kappanayil from Kochi and his young adult patient and collaborator Harikrishnan AM”Hari” to our International Programs Committee.
The International Programs Committee provides support on the strategic planning of our program work and its future direction. Their advice helps to guide our board of directors and staff. Children’s HeartLink leads training partnerships with medical volunteers from top institutions to train pediatric cardiac teams and transform health care in underserved parts of the world.
A leader in pediatric heart care
Dr. Mahesh works at Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) where he established India’s first pediatric cardiac congenital heart MRI program and first in-hospital medical 3D printing and virtual reality laboratory. The MRI program provides advanced imaging of a child’s heart and the 3D lab converts those medical images into a heart replica. All this allows the hospital to operate on children with really complex heart defects, even in a low-resource environment. AIMS is recognized as one of the best cardiac centers in the country.
“I am honored to be elected to the International Programs Committee of Children’s HeartLink,” says Dr. Mahesh. “During my more than a decade-long association with Children’s HeartLink, I have always found myself to be in absolute resonance with its core principles and objectives. I have witnessed the deep and direct impact that Children’s HeartLink has made on our world. I see this as a wonderful opportunity to engage deeper with the organization and contribute in whatever ways possible toward a cause that is extremely close to my own heart.”
Hari’s heart and passion
Hari was born with a complex heart defect. Surgical treatment was considered to be too risky for him. Hari became the first patient in which Dr. Mahesh used 3D printing to assist in cardiac surgery. A replica of Hari’s heart allowed the AIMS team to see his heart from the inside and operate on him successfully. Now, Hari is a university student and an advocate for children and young adults with congenital heart disease. He is intent on a future career where he can contribute to advancements in medicine. Having a passion for electronics, Hari helps Dr. Mahesh make 3D heart models using available technologies. Watch Hari’s story
Hary says, “I am so glad to join the Children’s HeartLink International Programs Committee to contribute and give back to the CHD community. My heart defect didn’t allow me to enjoy a full childhood. My low oxygen level kept me from being active and playing outside. After heart surgery, I feel different not only physically but also emotionally. I would like to share my story, my experience, my passion for technology and my voice to help other children and young adults enjoy their lives and fulfill their potential.”
Dr. Mahesh and Hari shared their story at our fall fundraising event in 2018 to bring awareness about the importance of high-quality heart care.
“We are so grateful to Dr. Mahesh and Hari for all the work they do to help children receive lifesaving heart care. Their talents and experience are truly valuable for advancing our work and reaching more children,” says Children’s HeartLink President Jackie Boucher.
Read more about our work.
AIMS, where Dr. Mahesh works, is Children’s HeartLink’s first-ever Center of Excellence. Read about the progress they’ve made and continue to make to serve children with heart defects.