Janushika’s First-of-its-Kind Surgery in India

Janushika with her parents


During the COVID-19 pandemic and a full lockdown in India in April, a baby girl named Janushika was born and underwent a rare and challenging open heart surgery. At the time of surgery, she was just 8 days old and weighed only 2.2 kilograms (4.8 pounds). She had to be transported a long distance for her heart repair, to the city of Coimbatore, home to our partner G. Kuppusamy Naidu Memorial Hospital.

The challenging surgery Janushika needed is rarely performed so early in life. In India, her operation was the first of its kind and was reported in the Indian news media.

At her 6-month appointment, Janushika’s surgeon described her as “pink, hale and hearty.” She no longer had the bluish coloring caused by a heart defect that prevents the baby’s blood from being fully oxygenated.

Read our story about 3-month-old Ithika whose life was also at risk because of a severe heart anomaly, and the challenges the hospital faced during the pandemic.

Children’s HeartLink saves children’s lives by transforming pediatric heart care in underserved parts of the world. Founded in 1969, we currently support 18 partner hospitals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. In 2019 alone, the medical providers we trained served 177,000 children with heart disease, more than ever before.