Eid al-Fitr
Eid came early for Zubair's father, Rushid, as doctors successfully performed a rare heart surgery on the former. [Representational Picture]REUTERS

Doctors from a New Delhi hospital successfully performed a rare heart surgery on Zubair, a fourteen-month-old boy from Saharanpur, giving him and his parents a reason to celebrate Eid one day early.

The operation was conducted on Monday, at the BL Kapur (BLK) Children's Heart Institute, which belongs to the BLK Super Speciality Hospital. The child had a rare disease called Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).

"Zubair had a condition called PDA, which everyone has in the womb," Dr Vikas Kohli, Director and Head of the Department, BLK Children's Heart Institute, told The Times of India. "It's a bypass for lungs, which are not functional in the utero. The track is supposed to close days after birth. In Zubair's case, it had not closed, allowing oxygen-rich blood from the aorta to mix with oxygen-poor blood from the pulmonary artery."

Kohli said that due to this condition, the child's lungs were being flooded, and huge pressure was being put upon them. Also, Zubair frequently had pneumonia. Inability to gain weight was also a huge problem for the child. The doctor said that the child had remained at only seven kilograms for quite some time, while a normal baby, who is 14-months-old, should weigh around 11 kilograms.

"We conducted a procedure similar to angioplasty, where wires pass into the heart from the groin area and the PDA was crossed," the doctor noted. "Over this, a catheter (a plastic tube like the ball pen refill but much longer) was passed over the wire to close the opening."

After visiting several doctors, the parents finally admitted Zubair to the BLK Super Security Hospital, around a month ago. Mohammad Rushid, Zubair's father, had a torrid time, running from one doctor to the other, looking for a cure for his son's ailment.

Rushid is a poor man, who lives inside a mosque, in his native town of Saharanpur, a city which has been hit with riots, and has been under curfew for the last few days. He and his family have to make do with a meagre accommodation inside a mosque, for a rent of ₹100 every day.

According to doctors, PDA is a rare condition, which occurs to around eight out of 1,000 premature babies, and to around two out of 1,000 normal babies. However, this surgery shows that this rare condition can be beaten, and that the babies with PDA could go on to live a healthy life later on.