Surgery offers girl new beginning

Sharika Sharma and Meghana Sharma smiling to new beginnings. Picture: PEKAI KOTOISUVA

When Meghana Sharma emerged out of the operating theatre at the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital last week, it marked a new beginning for the 15-year-old.

Up until that life-changing moment, living a normal life had been a huge challenge for the rheumatic heart disease patient.

“I can’t wait to start my new life,” she said.

“I have about six weeks to recover after my surgery then I can finally get back to school.

“Before, I would always feel tired and was in a lot of pain but now I feel so great and I can’t wait to start my journey.

“I know it will be an amazing one.”

Life was not all rainbows and sunshine for Meghana.

After she was diagnosed with a heart condition at the age of 12, she also lost her father – the one person she thought would care for her.

“Just two weeks ago Meghana came to stay with me,” said Sharika Sharma, her aunt.

“She used to live with her mother’s family, she wasn’t cared for and was never looked after properly.

“It was only after she had called me crying saying she wanted to stay with me that I took her in.

“My brother, Meghana’s late father, has four sisters, so we all sat down and discussed how we would bring her over to live with me.”

Ms Sharma said she treated Meghana like her own daughter.

“At one point, we couldn’t find her because her father had changed their number before he passed away, it was not until one of the doctors went to the Ministry of Education and they found that she was in Nakasi High School.

“She was always scared to tell her mother’s family of the chest pain she was enduring, and it was only when she came over to my house one day that she told me everything and that’s when we came here to Sai Prema.

“Compared to before, she is now full of joy and I would like to thank Sai Prema Foundation for that.”

Ms Sharma urged parents who have children with a heart condition to be vigilant and to bring their kids in for screening.

Meghana was one of the 30 children who underwent free heart surgery at the hospital last week.

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