Visit of Italian Surgical team to Little Moppet Heart Foundation

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali

We are all born on this earth with a purpose – to use our talents and abilities to help others. This help can take all kinds of forms, both direct and indirect. And our founder Dr Gopi Nallaiayan realized, when you discover that purpose, your entire life falls into place and nothing else matters. For him, that defining moment was when we decided that he didn’t want to work in the corporate medical sector anymore – he wanted to devote his life to helping children from unprivileged backgrounds suffering from heart disease. And that is how the Little Moppet Heart Foundation came into being.

A Vision to Save Little Hearts

According to recent reports, Congenital Heart Disease or CHD is found in 1 out of every 100 children in the country. Several thousand such affected children continue to lead their lives in despair just because their families cannot afford the costs of treatment. Our mission was clear – to offer free medical treatment to every underprivileged kid with CHD – to make India CHD-free.

As we reached out to more and more children, we were able to get more attention, and were even featured by the CNN. At the same time we realized that no matter how much we tried, there were still some restrictions. We were lacking the manpower and expertise to operate on extremely complex cases, especially those involving infants. It was very distressing to not be able to treat these little babies, and we felt helpless. That was when we got help – in the form of some angels from Italy.

Dr. Sasha and Team light up Little Hearts

Dr. Salvatore “Sasha” Agati is an internationally acclaimed pediatric cardiac surgeon and the Managing Director at  San Vincenzo Hospital in Italy. Dr. Sasha and his team volunteer their time to save children with serious heart illnesses across the world. It is a matter of pride that their very first visit to India was to the Little Moppet Heart Foundation in Madurai. We kick started this auspicious journey with a visit to the Vinayagar Temple.

Dr Sasha and Team

In between surgeries, we took the entire team to visit the home of one of our patients – Gowtham. It was such a lovely experience and all the team members were overcome with emotion.

Dr Sasha and Team

The Gift of Knowledge

Dr. Sasha’s biggest gift to us is a gift that’ll keep on giving – the gift of knowledge. The good doctor shared the wisdom of his vast experience with our entire staff. The team trained everyone from the ICU nurses and the Echo technicians to the surgical team headed by my husband, Dr. Gopi.

Dr Sasha and Team

Besides this, the team also participated in a CME program titled ‘Pediatric cardiac update 2019’, which included senior doctors of Madurai. They spoke about the management of serious Congenital Heart Diseases and cardiac emergencies in newborns, which are their areas of expertise.

Dr Sasha and Team

An Experience like No Other

The visit of Dr. Sasha and his team was an immensely beneficial learning experience, but more than that, they brought such positive vibes with them that the entire hospital was buzzing with energy. Their enthusiasm was infectious and inspired us. It also made us so glad that we chose this path in our lives.

Dr Sasha and Team

We also had a lot of fun showing them around Madurai, which the entire team enjoyed! The team visited the foundation once more before leaving, and they spent time with our patients, talking to them and listening to their stories.

Little Moppet Heart Foundation

On behalf of our entire team at the Little Moppet Heart Foundation, I’d like to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Dr. Sasha and his team of doctors. With all their knowledge and effort we were able to save the lives of many more little hearts – something that would not have been possible otherwise. Thank you!!