Before his heart surgery, Mohammed Faizal of Fiji, could barely walk up a flight of stairs without losing his breath. Now a month after surgery, Faizal recounts his early diagnosis and subsequent tests which led to his arrival in India. In an interview with Vaidam, Faizal is pleased to report that his treatment went well and he is now ready to return home to Fiji.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Mohammed Faizal and I am 35 years old. I was born and brought up in Fiji.
Tell us a little history about your health?
In 2015, I was having chest pains. I had a physical and the EKG showed a slight difference from 2014. In early 2015, my doctor sent for a stationary stress test, EKG and echocardiogram. All three of those tests came back normal. They ruled out heart problems but I was still having chest pains. This started happening shortly after my physical. I started getting worse. The doctors did an upper endoscopy, which came back normal, but my chest pains were really bad and no one knew what to do.
How did you come to know about your heart condition?
In January of 2017, I decided to a full-body scan. The next morning I got a call from the hospital telling me to come quickly. My earlier tests showed that my calcium level was very high, which meant that there was a lot of plaque build-up in my arteries. The high level of calcium put me in 90% risk of a heart attack. Three major arteries in front of the heart were blocked -- the top one was totally blocked, the bottom one partially blocked. It was decided that a bypass would be better than to try to open the totally blocked artery.
How did you feel at the time?
To be honest, it was good because I didn't have a heart attack. There was no damage to my heart yet. The doctor said that it would be best to try a robotic surgery but if there was a problem with it, it would go to open chest surgery. My understanding at that time about robotic surgery was fairly limited, except that it had lower recovery time with limited incisions.
What did you subsequently do?
My family thought it was a good idea to get a second opinion. We spoke to multiple people who suggested we look abroad for advanced options. One of the options was to come to India. However, at this time it was merely a thought and hadn’t fully evolved yet.
What made you decide to come to India?
Well we had heard so much about how healthcare was advancing in this country. So it was an ideal place especially considering the nature of the surgery. We reached out to Vaidam.com by sending an email and were greeted with a response almost immediately. From there on, one thing led to another, and the next thing you know we were on a flight to India.
You had multiple choices for hospitals and doctors; tell us about your choice?
We decided to go ahead with Indraprastha Apollo Hospital after going through top 10 heart hospitals in India. The hospital had nice reviews and it fit our budget very well. Overall we are quite glad about the decision we took.
What did you like about the service you received?
The overall experience has so far been very good. Our doctor, Dr. Vivek Gupta is a very professional man; I must say he has been very reassuring in explaining everything, which helped relieve some of the anxiety. Although, I think there can be a little more attention to patient-centric issues. On various occasions, we had difficulty in communicating with the staff because they didn’t understand what we were saying.
How are you feeling now?
I feel absolutely great, and I have no major scars, no problems at all. Looking forward to getting back to my old self again...
How likely are you to recommend Vaidam services to your family and friends?
Yes, I would recommend your services. I think it’s important to know someone when you visit a new country or city. Although we didn’t know anybody, Vaidam made us feel at home in India. We are quite grateful for your help.