Support and Advocacy Group Launched
March 16, 2013
Health Sciences Campus, Kochi
Blissful Little Hearts, a parent support and advocacy group for addressing their emotional and rehabilitative needs, if they had children ailing from heart diseases, was inaugurated at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences by Sri. V. K. Ebrahim Kunju, Honorable Minister for Public Works, Government of Kerala, on March 9, 2013.
Jointly supported by the Department of Pediatric Cardiology at Amrita and Children’s Heartlink (a US-based non-governmental organization), Blissful Little Hearts was the initiative of the parents of those children who received treatment for heart defects at Amrita.
Mr. Bimal Roy, a parent representative, elaborated on the planned activities, at the inauguration.
“We will conduct educational workshops and sessions for children and their families on various aspects of care of heart defects including the psycho-social and adaptive problems, stress management and rehabilitation into mainstream life including schooling and adult life issues. We also plan to conduct free medical camps.”
“This is a much needed venture for supporting affected children and their family members as they face a number of challenges,” remarked the Honorable Minister during the inaugural address.
The logo of Blissful Little Hearts was jointly released by the Honorable Minister and Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, AIMS.
Dr. R. Krishna Kumar, Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatric Cardiology; Dr Rajesh Pai, Additional Medical Superintendent; Dr. Suresh G. Nair, Professor and Head of the Department of Anaesthesiology; Mr. Boban Francis, Member of Blissful Little Hearts and Ms. Veeralakshmi Rajasekhar, Representative of Children’s Heartlink also spoke.
Two parents enlightened the audience about the experiences they had while their child underwent heart surgery and the challenges that faced then.
The Pediatric Cardiac team at Amrita has been in the forefront of providing care for children with heart defects in India for over a decade. More than 10,000 children with various types of heart defects have undergone treatment thus far.
“Heart diseases are common birth defects affecting infants and young children. This is the first time in the country that such a support group is being launched. It is hoped that this would serve as a bridge to connect health care professionals with patients and their families,” stated Dr. Balu Vaidyanathan, Professor at the Department of Pediatric Cardiology at Amrita.
More than forty children participated in the inauguration, together with their families. They participated in a drawing competition, the best smile competition and innovative games such as toffee-gathering. The winners received prizes from the Minister.