Meet Surya, Mumbai’s & World’s Youngest & Smallest Medical Marvel


Editor’s Note;  It has been our practice to avoid writing about people or causes dear to us. But sometimes, we come across a story which needs to be told. This is one such.


When you read or hear about health care in India, the words you hear are “inexpensive” or “cheap”. The allusion is that the primary benefit of Indian health care is to provide good, decent care at an attractive price point. The unspoken message is that for really difficult or top-notch medical care, you have to be in or visit the United States.

We know that medical care in Mumbai is as good as any place in the world. But until now, we had no objective way to illustrate this fact. Now, thanks to the Times of India, we do.

This is a story is about a unique procedure performed in Mumbai, a procedure that may have been used only for the second time in the world. 

Withing 72 hours of the birth of Baby Surya in Mumbai, doctors discovered that he had 4 defects in his tiny heart. Atrial Septal Defect or ASD is the existence of an opening that shouldn’t be there between the two upper chambers of the heart. Baby Surya was transferred to Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital upon this discovery and Dr. Bharat Dalvi, a renowned Neo-Natal Cardiologist, was called.

As the Times of India reported, Baby Surya’s heart defects were fixed with non-invasive means by Dr. Dalvi and his team, probably only the second time in the world the method has been used on someone so young.

In another article, the Times of India quotes Dr. Dalvi “He is perhaps the smallest child in terms of weight in whom the atrial septal defect (the existence of an opening that shouldn’t be there between the two upper chambers of the heart) was closed,” using a minimally invasive technique. “

The take-home lesson from Baby Surya’s story, says Dr Dalvi, is the fact that cardiology has reached a level where the “smallest and sickest babies” can be treated through minimally invasive means instead of rigorous cardiac surgery that entails cutting bones and long recovery time. “Surya’s case, he was removed from the ventilator within eight hours after the procedure.”

The parents of Baby Surya are not rich, far from it. His father is a lower middle class mechanic from Mumbai’s suburbs and his mother is a homemaker. Neither the hospitals nor the doctors worried about payment. They were focused on providing the best care they could to a new born baby that weighed less than 6 lbs at birth. In the process, they ended up creating medical history, making Baby Surya the baby with the lightest weight on which such an procedure was performed.

So next time you read or hear about inexpensive medical care in India, remember the case of Baby Surya.


* For more details, please refer to the Times of India articles:


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