Ravi Teja Chakali, 9 years, is the second of three children. He was born with a hole in his heart and was diagnosed at three weeks. His father, Ramesh Chakali provides for his family doing sundry construction jobs like painting walls and doors. His mother, Lakshmi Chakali works as a beedi (a coarse Indian cigarette) maker. Their meager income is barely sufficient to support the needs of this family of five.
Ravi Teja’s parents took him to several hospitals hoping for effective treatment options. They were repeatedly told that their son might not survive without immediate surgery but were daunted by treatment options that cost more than they could afford. Surgery could save him but it was very expensive because a conduit had to be placed in his heart. Many hospitals declined to perform the surgery because of complexity of the surgery and the high cost. His parents were devastated.
As Ravi Teja grew older his condition deteriorated rapidly. It was hard for his parents to see him unable to walk even small distances while children of his age jumped and hopped gaily. They watched, helplessly, cursing the poverty which prevented them from getting their son the treatment he needed to survive.
When Ravi Teja was 8 years, his parents heard about the work being done by Hrudaya – Cure a Little Heart Foundation to provide treatment to economically disadvantaged children with heart diseases. Ravi Teja was evaluated at STAR hospitals and a treatment plan was put in place. His parents were told that this surgery was a risky procedure and Ravi Teja’s chances of his survival were only 50%. The parents gave their consent for surgery and he was operated for Intra Cardiac Repair with special conduit in February 2013 by Dr. Mannam.
The surgery was a huge success! The smile on his face lit up his home, and the tears of gratitude that rolled down his parents’ cheeks are a testament to the commitment of the donors and volunteers who make this possible.
Ravi Teja – Post-surgery, is healthy and active for the first time in his life.