When Harichandana was born five years ago, doctors immediately noticed something unusual with her heart. They diagnosed her with a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), a hole between the heart’s lower chambers. Her parents were heartbroken. Their newborn baby was referred to a children’s hospital in Nellore, India, for a rigorous round of tests. Having studied the case thoroughly, doctors recommended to wait for surgery as Harichandana was still too small to undergo an operation. The family decided to forgo the surgery and take their daughter for health checkups every year on a regular basis.
Weeks rolled into months, and months into years. Suddenly, on September 25, 2019, Harichandana suffered from severe breathlessness and a terrible cough. She was rushed to the hospital, and doctors advised Harichandana’s parents to prepare her for an immediate open heart surgery. Unfortunately, the family was barely making ends meet on their income of $55 CAD a month. They couldn’t afford the hefty cost of the surgery, adding up to nearly $4700 CAD.