Mita’s heart is beating…….

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Thanks to the humane approach of SCB Cardiology and Cardio Thoracic Vascular Surgery department!

Bibhuti Pati

In an era when Humanity is a rarity, it is the humane approach of not only an one off Doctor of the Cardiology Department of Sriram Chandra Bhanja Medical College Cuttack, but the entire team of the department, that has given Mita a new lease of life’s heartbeat. Logically speaking MitaMunda did not have enough reason to survive all these years, 22 to be precise, with a life-threatening Cardiac Rheumatism complication. But, she was fortunate enough to be led to the  Cardiology department of SCB. The department kept her alive despite all the odds since last seven year. And finally on 24th of June, 2022, the good Samaritans of the Cardiology department have conducted a complex open heart surgery to rid Mita of the life threatening malaise. And these cardiologists and their team have not only saved the life of an orphan destitute tribal woman with no wherewithal, but also have given colours to the future of Mita and her 5 year old daughter. And over and above this, they also have kept the flag of humanity high, at a time when a government administrative official helping a patient to reach the hospital is a screaming headline to celebrate humanity.

MitaMunda was brought unconscious to the SCB casualty by her fellow daily wage earners. She had fainted while working for a living in the CDA area of Cuttack. From the casualty she was gradually shifted to the inner wards and finally referred to the Cardiology Ward. The doctors there diagnosed her with life threatening Cardiac Rheumatism complication. Investigation by the doctors of the department revealed thatMitaMunda (26 years) had been suffering from Cardiac Rheumatism since she was only four years old. Daughter of Siva Munda of Nami village in Bhandaripokhari  block in Bhadrakh district, had all the elements working against her to ensure that she should not survive. She was destitute in her childhood. Due to poverty as well as lack of guidance, she could not get proper treatment. And she was married to one NarahariMunda at an early age. Within a few years her husband  came to know of the real nature of the ailment that Mitawas living with, she was thrashed and thrown out of the house. Even her sister, only one whom she could call her own, also did not support her. She came to Cuttack to survive and live incognito. She lived inMundabasti – a slum near Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) area. She started working as a maid in different houses. Due to her cardiac complications she used to faint time and again and admitted to the hospital.

Mita has been in and out of the Cardiology ward many a times. Senior Cardiologist Dr NiharRanjanParida, after hearing her plight has been helping Mita since 2014. Dr.Nihar with the help of his family friend Dr. Mira Das andSunitaPati rehabilitated Mita. But every few months she used to come back to the hospital. But, other than temporary relief, she could not becured of her disease, as it needed an open heart surgery. The condition of her heart was neither conducive for a surgery, nor her social situation.

On 15th June this year Mita was admitted to the ICU of Cardiology department.  Every doctor, nurse and technicians of the Cardiology department did their best to treat Mita.Dr.NiharRanjanParidawas supervising the treatment personally with the direct support of the Prof. Dr S. N. Rautray. She was discharged from the hospital on 21st June. The very next day she had another stroke and brought to the hospital once again.

Dr.Nihar said, “After observing repeated strokes, I personally consulted the famous open heart surgeon Professor Dr. Manoj Kumar Pattnaik. He advised that the patient needed immediate surgery. Then onwards Prof. Pattnaik took every initiative for the operation of Mita and she was monitored and helped by Prof. Dr Patnaik”.

After the surgery a hugely satisfied Prof. Manoj Pattnaik said, “ Mita had Severe Calcific Mitral Stenosis. She had a huge left Atrium  and a severe PAH. Both the leaflets of Mitral  valve was calcified. Posterior leaflet was wastotally plastered to ventricular wall. Hence removing the valve leaflet was very difficult as a little lapse in precision could lead to a life threatening situation. The operation of MVR and Plication of LA took around 5 hours to be completed. Now we hope that the girl will be fine for the rest of her life.”

Dr.Pattanaik was assisted by Dr.ChttaranjanThatei (cardiac surgeon), Dr Arun Sahoo& Dr.Avinash Patra (Anasthesists) and sisters Lopamudra, Binaya and Namita. Cuttack Mo Paribar Chairperson Ranjan Kumar Biswal has provided all the necessary support and Cuttack Red Cross blood bank has played an important role in providing requisite units of blood.

Dr.Nihar has said that “Today I am feeling relieved, as one feels after carrying forward a huge responsibility. I can not express my satisfaction and happiness. Prof Dr.Pattnaik’s human approach will certainly influence many young doctors of the state and really after 7 years of my hard treatment I got the best satisfaction. Thanks to Prof. Dr.Patnaik because it is truly my inspiration for rest of my life.”

Mita survived only for a humane approach of SCB Cardiology and CardioThoracic Vascular Surgery department. But even if with the best of intentions of Dr.Nihar and his kind colleagues, treatment of Mita still has many hurdles. Though Mita exists in flesh and bone, her identity is the main hurdle now. Mita neither has a voter ID nor an Aadhar card. She even does not have a birth certificate of her daughter. Despite a plethora of health insurance schemes like Ayushman Bharat Yojana and BijuSwasthyaYojana,Biju Basti Thaithan Yojana she could not be benefited by the much-publicised heath schemes, as she did not have any identity.

But it was the human within the doctors and support staff of cardiology department of SCB that kept her heart beating till a final fixation was done. A government that is empowering more than 60 lakh women in the state, should not leave aside Mita as it is just a tiny number”.

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