Operation Hriday was conceived in Munich Germany . I happened to have gone there for training for TAVI (Trancutaneous aortic valve implantation) when I was first introduced to a bright young Cardiologist from India ( Dr Akhil Sharma ) who was there for training as well. He shared with me the frustration of not being able to help a lot of his patients with rheumatic heart disease , some of them sole breadwinners due to extreme poverty and financial constraints .
At Drishti we decided , not only will we sponsor the required procedure ( Balloon Mitral Valvulotomy) but also assist in doing these surgeries . Through an able partner in Dr Akhil Sharma and his Cardiology department at King George Medical University we were able to embark on a unique mission where a team comprising of physicians from the USA and India were able to perform this procedure at no cost to the patient .
Our financial goal is to provide for atleast about 100 of these procedures per year. This procedure which costs about 15,000$ in the USA including hospital and personnel costs is offered at KGMU, Lucknow for a meager 350$. Unfortunately Rheumatic heart disease is a disease of the extremely underprivileged and majority of these patients, are either daily wage laborers, farmers or unemployed and make less than 200$/ year and hence are not able to afford even this subsidized low cost procedure offered at King George Medical University. A lot of these patients are also sole bread winners and are even pregnant females (we can do Balloon Mitral Valvulotomy safely in 2nd trimester of pregnancy) where progression of pregnancy with severe mitral stenosis can most certainly jeopardize life of both mother and child.