After her nineteenth birthday Alka started feeling pressure on the left side of her chest. She visited a doctor but continued to live with her discomfort and a heightened pulse along with two years of taking pills. All this put a strain on her home and family life.
Alka was urged by her sister-in-law to go to the Meher Free Dispensary. Her husband drove her on the motorbike, 60 kilometers (~40 miles) from their village of Dedgaon, to MFD. An immediate echocardiogram was ordered by one of our doctors, showing an urgent need for surgery. A valve needed to be replaced in Alka’s heart. A ‘natural’ valve material would have to be used instead of plastic, however, giving her a chance to have children after surgery.
It’s been fifteen days since surgery and, after 2 lakhs of rupees funded in part by MFD and the Indian Government, Alka’s pressure on the left side of her chest has been relieved. Her pulse has steadied and she looks bravely into her future in the hopes of starting a family all her own. “I’ll send my children one day to MFD,” Alka smiles.