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Reaching out to save a blue baby

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL: Fifteen-month-old Maxwell with his mother, Aster, after a heart surgery at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Hospital in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: Vino John

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL: Fifteen-month-old Maxwell with his mother, Aster, after a heart surgery at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Hospital in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: Vino John  



R. Sujatha

CHENNAI: Fifteen-month-old Maxwell, born to Qayyum and Aster, was a blue baby, whose condition worsened as he grew. "He turned blue three or four times in a day," recalls Aster. Maxwell was treated for his heart condition at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Hospital and will return home to Karachi in Pakistan on Monday.

The surgery was done last Friday at Sri Ramachandra Hospital by paediatric cardiologist K.R. Balakrishnan.

It was Aster's siblings, students of The Garage School, an institution for underprivileged children in Karachi, who saved their nephew. Aster's brothers and sisters approached Shabina Mustafa, who runs the school and who has helped to treat six children with various ailments.

Qayyum (33), a political science graduate who coaches children, says: "She kept aside her religion and got us everything. She arranged for tickets and even took time off to come with us. People give money but not time." The couple's other son is two and a half years old and lives with grandparents.

Qayyum is pleased to see his child active. "He was sluggish and refused to eat."

Mrs. Mustafa, who has returned to Karachi, said over telephone: "I have meagre resources, so I spoke to some people here and collected money. These are poor people who have never left the city. The life of the child was important. Dr. Bala is a friend. Many have already approached me. I hope to get the doctor to come over and screen the children."

A proud Aster says, "He (Maxwell) has learnt to feed himself."



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