TAMIL NADU

Gift of Life aims to touch 500 free heart surgeries by June

BENEFICIARIES: Two children who underwent surgery under the Gift of Life free heart surgery programme.

BENEFICIARIES: Two children who underwent surgery under the Gift of Life free heart surgery programme.  

Special Correspondent

366 surgeries performed in four hospitals in the city since the launch of the programme

COIMBATORE: Gift of Life, a programme by the Rotary Club of Coimbatore Saicity for free heart surgery for poor children, aims to complete 500 cases by June next year (the Rotary year is from July to June). As many as 366 surgeries have been performed at Rs.1.8 crore in four hospitals in the city since the launch of the programme in 2002-03.

Grant

Rotary Saicity said on Friday that the Rotary District 7250 and Rotary Club of Gold Coast-Lake Success in New York in the U.S. was formed in 1975 to reach out to children needing cardiac surgery.

Rotary Saicity said that to a contribution of $50,000 in 2002-03 from the U.S. clubs, it made a matching contribution of just $2500 to launch the programme.

The grant helped in performing 100 surgeries, each costing about Rs.50,000.

Donors

Half the amount for each surgery came from donors and the Prime Minister’s and Chief Minister’s funds, while the rest was from the Rotary’s contribution.

Congenital heart problems

Children aged below 12 were sponsored for surgery to correct congenital heart problems such as atrial septal defect (hole in the wall separating the two upper chambers) and ventricular septal defect (a similar problem in the lower chambers).

The Rotary Club said that the children should hail from poor families and must possess adequate documentary proof of their economic condition.

High risk category

The programme did not take up cases that were in the high risk category. The club said the 366 surgeries done so far cost Rs.1.8 crore.

Of this, the Rotary Foundation provided Rs.80 lakh, Rotary District 7250 gave Rs.60 lakh and Rotary Saicity mobilised Rs.40 lakh.

New life

Expressing satisfaction over the progress of the scheme so far, Rotary Saicity appreciated the role played by the hospitals, their surgeons and staff in giving a fresh lease of life to the children.

Of the total number of surgeries done so far, 291 were done at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, 28 at G. Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital, 25 at K.G. Hospital and 22 at Kovai Medical Center and Hospital.

Contact

For further information on age limit and income ceiling, people can contact P.S. Srinivasan of Rotary Club of Coimbatore Saicity on phone number 94430-44017.

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