Corrective Surgery Saves Baby’s Life

When baby Bhajan was brought into EHA’s Herbertpur Christian Hospital with breathing difficulties, the staff had to move quickly to diagnose and treat the problem. His parents had traveled nearly 100 miles from their village in the surrounding foothills of the Himalayas, desperately seeking help for their child.

Tests showed that Bhajan had a tracheoesophageal fistula—the trachea and esophagus had not properly separated from each other as they should have in the womb. Openings between the two tubes were allowing swallowed liquids or food to be inhaled into the baby’s lungs, causing breathing difficulties, coughing, or choking. It could also have led to lung infections. This life-threatening condition needed to be treated without delay.

Herbertpur’s resident pediatric surgeon promptly performed the operation to correct the problem so Bhajan would be able to eat and breathe normally. The baby then spent four days on a ventilator in the intensive care unit, where he received loving and watchful care from the pediatrician and the nursing team. After thirteen days, he had healed enough to return home.

The outcome could have been much worse for little Bhajan. In the hill country where his family lives, adequate medical care is often unavailable. Even when it is, low-income families cannot afford it. Thankfully, Herbertpur Christian Hospital offers reduced charges for those who do not have the means to cover their bills. Otherwise Bhajan might not have been saved.