We sat down with Sanesh Chandra and spoke to him about his father Suresh Chandra’s health complications - recent trip to India and how they finally got the right treatment. The young man describes his relief about his father’s upbeat health status and the fact that he can get on with his life once again.
When did your father’s problem begin?
My father had his first heart attack in November 2017. It came as a complete surprise. He didn’t have any of the usual symptoms; he was active and we all thought he was quite fit, although we did notice that on occasion he sounded out of breath. He described it like a band of pain across his chest.
What did you do next?
A few weeks later we visited the hospital for an angiogram, which showed that three of his coronary arteries were blocked. We were told he would need to have a heart bypass. He had the second heart attack in January while we were waiting for the bypass appointment.
What made you decide to come to India?
Our doctor in Fiji who had diagnosed my father, advised us to get the bypass surgery done abroad. Considering that we had family in India, it was only a logical decision and we searched for top 10 heart hospitals in India. I think India has progressed greatly and the health infrastructure has grown significantly. It has become a preferred destination for medical treatment amongst lot of people in my home country.
How did your father cope with the treatment and traveling to India?
His way of coping with the operation was not to discuss it with anyone around him. I think talking about it makes him more apprehensive. He knew roughly what was going to happen and didn't want to know anything else. Overall, we were confident about our decision. We knew what we had found out what was wrong and we're going to fix it. Even the day before the operation, he didn't want to discuss it. It was only the day of his operation that he finally called my mom and spoke to her briefly.
Which hospital did you get the operation done? Who was your doctor?
My father had an operation at Artemis Hospital, by Dr. Murtaza Ahmed Chisti who is the director of cardiology at Artemis. I must say the doctor was very nice. We were given multiple choices from Vaidam. However, we decided to go ahead with Artemis.
How is your father now?
We are so pleased to be home. At first, we had to take it slow and he felt tired, but now he’s been walking every day and can do about 40 minutes a day. At first, he took painkillers to control the pain in his chest. Dr. Murtaza Ahmed Chisti had told him: "Don't be a hero. If you can't breathe in and out because of the pain you won't be able to breathe properly." He is pain-free during the day now but takes a couple of painkillers before going to bed because he tends to toss and turn a bit at night and can't get comfortable.
Tell us about your overall experience of coming to India?
Our appreciation and praise goes out to best cardiac surgeon in India - Dr. Chisti and the support staff who explained various steps along the way with kindness and knowledge. We would also like to thank the staff at Vaidam especially our dedicated patient rep Sapna, I cannot praise her enough.