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Dr. Moopen's Foundation initiative helps Dubai-based Filipino boy get a new lease of life

•    The 10-year-old boy, suffering from a rare life-threatening congenital heart defect, can now lead a normal life like other healthy children after successful undergoing a highly complicated surgery at Aster Medcity, South India’s largest quaternary care centre.

•    Dr. Moopen’s Foundation, a charitable organisation spearheaded by Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman - Aster DM Healthcare, took up the cause under its ‘Healing Touch - Dr. Sanjiv – Little Hearts’ Programme - an international social initiative offering free cardiac surgery to underprivileged children in the Philippines.

Dubai- August 19, 2014: Gil Merced can now run, jump and play like other children of his age, courtesy to Dr. Moopen’s Foundation and Aster Medcity, Kochi in South Indian state of Kerala. The 10-year old Filipino boy was suffering from Tetralogy of Fallot - a rare and life-threatening congenital heart defect that does not let enough blood enter the lungs for oxygenation. Even walking a few steps was an arduous task – his oxygen levels would drop and he would faint.

The third child of Gil Gatdula and Mercedita, a couple from the Philippines settled in Dubai, Gil Merced could not be operated for his condition till now as his family could not afford to pay for the surgery, a highly complicated and expensive procedure. Gil’s condition kept deteriorating and his parents kept trying their level best to raise funds for his treatment without much success. That is when St. Mary’s Church in Dubai took his story to the world.

Dr. Moopen’s Foundation, a charitable organisation spearheaded by Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman - Aster DM Healthcare, took up the cause of Gil’s treatment under its ‘Healing Touch - Dr. Sanjiv – Little Hearts’ Programme - an international social initiative which offers free cardiac surgery to underprivileged children in the Philippines.

Gil Merced and his family, along with Sr. Kochu Theresa from St. Mary’s Convent were flown down to Aster Medcity in Kochi, Kerala. The very next day of his arrival, Gil was subject to a cardiac catheterization by Dr. Anil S R, Paediatric Cardiologist, to reconfirm the diagnosis and determine the plan of treatment.

On the 5th of August 2014, Dr. Sajan Koshy, Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon, performed one of the most complex and specialised procedures in Pediatric cardiac surgery. The postoperative care was handled by the Anaesthesia and Critical Care team led by Dr. Suresh Nair.

According to the Doctors, Gil Merced is on his way to living a normal life. He was discharged on the 14th of August and will be staying in Kochi for another week. He will then fly back to Dubai, where his follow up care will be the responsibility of Dr. Dr. T.M. Jaison, Specialist Cardiologist at the Aster Jubilee Medical Complex. All expenses of Gil’s surgery and medical care were borne by Dr. Moopen’s Foundation, which has already done over 20 free surgeries for Filipinos.

“Dr. Moopen’s Foundation is committed to the cause of lending a helping hand to those in need, especially children. Our mission is to care beyond boundaries and we fulfill this even if we have to take the extra effort of flying down patients to Aster Medcity in Kochi, our flagship facility. We also closely monitor the patient’s health long enough after the procedure is done,” said Dr. Azad Moopen, while expressing happiness about Gil’s surgery being a success.

“It is a proud moment for all of us at Aster Medcity. Gil Merced is a fighter and we are happy that we could bring together all the facilities that were needed to heal his little heart and give him a normal life. His condition was indeed critical and I am really proud that the Aster Medcity team could give him a new lease of life.”

The Aster Centre of Excellence in Cardiac Sciences has an outstanding team of doctors who work in tandem, supported by state- of-the-art technology and facilities including Hybrid Cath Labs, a 24-bed Cardiac ICU and Cardiac Surgical Suites.

An initiative of Aster DM Healthcare, Aster Medcity is a medical township with eight Centres of Excellence and one Multispecialty Hospital, providing advanced healthcare at an affordable cost.



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