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Infant Marks 1st Birthday With Minister

Infant Marks 1st Birthday With Minister
General Practitioner and Medical Co-ordinator for Sai Prema Foundation, Dr Krupali Tappoo (left), Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar holding baby Aqela Cirimaitoga, 1, and Aqela’s mother Salote Vitiana. Photos: Ministry of Health and Medical Services
April 18
11:00 2018

It has been a busy few days for Aqela Cirimaitoga.

The infant underwent success­ful cardiac surgery at Suva’s Colo­nial War Memorial Hospital last weekend after travelling from her home in Labasa, thanks to the Sai Prema Foundation.

The icing on the cake after the successful operation was being able to celebrate her 1st birthday at CWM Hospital with her mother and members of the foundation as well as Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar.

The celebration shocked Aqela’s mother, Salote Vitiana, because she did believe her daughter’s first birthday would be celebrated at the hospital.

Aqela had been admitted at the Co­lonial War Memorial Hospital since last Wednesday to undergo cardiac (heart) surgery.

Aqela and her mother are origi­nally from Cawaira in Labasa and travelled to Suva with the help of the Sai Prema Foundation to un­dergo surgery.

The youngest in a family of five children had a smile while cutting her cake on Monday night in the hospital as Ms Akbar held her in her arms.

Ms Vitiana said Aqela was only four months old when the family came to learn of her heart condi­tion.

“It was a heart-breaking moment for the family to see the youngest in so much pain,” Ms Vitiana said.

“We then found out about the Sai Prema Foundation and our doc­tor assisted us to get in touch with them.

“Today my daughter is blessed to have successfully undergone the surgery and is now recovering so well,” Ms Vitiana said.

She said she had not expected her daughter to be such a brave girl at her age and to be able to smile after surgery.

“When I saw her after her surgery, I broke into tears,” Ms Vitiana said.

“I did not imagine that Aqela will wake up with smiles on her face without feeling any pain.”

The international team conduct­ing the surgeries comprised 15 medical specialists and is led by Dr Asish Katewa, who is a head sur­geon at the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjee­vani Hospital of Raipur, India.

The team said earlier that it hoped to be able to treat 25 children with congenital heart defects before leaving Fiji.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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