10-year-old Filipino boy from Dubai gets new lease of life

A 10-year-old Filipino boy from Dubai, who was suffering from a rare life threatening congenital heart defect, got a new lease of life after surgery at a private hospital here.

The boy, Gil Merced, who underwent surgery at the Aster Medcity here, was suffering from ‘Tetralogy of Fallot’ which 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, Dr Harish Pillai, CEO of Aster Medcity, said.

But after the surgery, he can now run, jump and play like other children of his age, doctors, who treated him, told reporters.

The third child of Gil Gatdula and Mercedita, a couple from 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.

The boy’s condition kept deteriorating even as his parents tried their best to raise funds, without much success.

The St Mary’s Church, Dubai, took his story to the world through the ‘Khaleej Times’ in June this year following which Dr Moopen’s Foundation, a charitable organisation spearheaded by Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman, Aster DM Healthcare, decided to take up the cause of the boy’s treatment.

The family was flown down here and the boy was subjected to a cardiac catheterisation by Dr. Anil S R, Paediatric Cardiologist, to reconfirm the diagnosis and determine the plan of treatment.

Dr Sajan Koshy, Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon, performed the surgery on August 5. The boy was discharged on August 14 and will be in Kochi for another week, before leaving for Dubai, hospital authorities said.

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