The Children You Help: Thanvika from India

Thanvika, 6 months after heart surgery. January 2020. Photos by Scott Streble


When Thanvika was born last summer, her parents had no idea that she had a heart defect. It was discovered a day after her birth when she had trouble breathing. Luckily, she was referred to our partner hospital in Coimbatore, where she had surgery when she was 5 days old. That surgery made possible a thriving, happy girl with a good appetite and the energy to keep up and play with her older brother.

Saranya first held her daughter on the ninth day of Thanvika’s life. After recovery, Thanvika is keeping up with babies her same age, and the “zipline” on her chest is the only reminder of her surgery.


Thanvika is among the many children who received timely and high-quality cardiac care at G. Kuppusamy Naidu Memorial Hospital, one of our five partner hospitals in India. Children’s HeartLink medical volunteers from Mayo Clinic and Boston Children’s Hospital focus on improving nursing and critical care at the hospital through on-site and online training visits.

Thanvika with her family

Thanvika’s first birthday celebration, July 2020. Photo provided by her family