Upashana with her parents. Photos by Scott Streble
When we visited Upashana and her family in a village near Coimbatore, India, she was 4 months old and recovering from the heart surgery she had 2 weeks earlier. After Upashana’s birth, her parents brought her home without knowing she had a heart condition that would soon require surgical correction.
The first indication that something was wrong was when Upashana started choking during breastfeeding. After running some tests, her doctor referred her to our partner hospital G. Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital in Coimbatore. Her recovery from surgery was a bumpy road, but at the time of our visit, she was doing well.
“When Upashana grows up, I want her to study hard and do whatever she would like to do in life. What my daughter has undergone, no child should have to go through,” say her father Ganesan. Even though her parents worry about their daughter’s health, they feel relief and happiness that Upashana is thriving.
Now she is an active and healthy toddler who is bringing daily joy to her parents!
Upashana’s father Ganesan works at the coconut shell charcoal factory and also keeps his family tradition – weaving sarees in his parents’ house next door. Upashana’s mother is a homemaker.
Upashana with her extended family
Children’s HeartLink trains medical teams in underserved parts of the world to diagnose and treat children with heart disease. Founded in 1969, we currently support 18 partner hospitals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. Last year alone, the medical providers we trained served 177,000 children with heart disease, more than ever before.