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“Army-Asiri Heart Care” Saves Two more Lives; Receives Commendation from all Corners

[2012-06-17 11:08:53]

As the news of baby Jegatheeswaran Apisha and baby Skandharasa Santhos, three year old girl and boy from Jaffna, whose lives were saved by the Army and Asiri Surgical hospital, messages of appreciation and admiration are flowing to the Commander and officers of Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J).

Everyone sending their best wishes to the Headquarters SF-J speaks high of the kindness and compassion shown by soldiers towards Jaffna people in distress, especially small children who are struggling to live with acute heart diseases. Several individuals and institutes have even expressed their keenness to contribute to this meritorious act.

Surgery on baby Santhos was conducted on 07th June, after two days on his admission to hospital. However, Apisha had to wait until10th June since she needed to undergo a few more tests before the surgery. She was taken to the theatre on Sunday (10) morning for a five-hour surgery.

Santhos was discharged from hospital on Friday (15) evening and flown back to Palaly the following day. He was directly taken from the airport to Palaly Army Base hospital for a brief check up by Doctors of Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps and sent in Army ambulance to the 511 Brigade Headquarters where Commander 511 Brigade Colonel Wijendra Goonathilake received them and made arrangements to send them home safely.

Apisha will have to be at hospital another few more days since doctors executed two surgeries simultaneously on her.

When the troops of 5th Battalion Sri Lanka Light Infantry and 3rd Battalion Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment found those two children and learnt the poor economical background of their families, it was brought o the notice of Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe. Steps were immediately taken by the Commander SF-J to arrange air facility for them with their guardians who were airlifted from Palaly to Katunayaka on 5th June.

The first surgery of this nature was done to Krishnakumar Kajenthini, the 20 year old girl from Erlalai, Kadduvan at Colombo Asiri Heart Care Centre on 30th March this year. This combined and worthy effort taken by the Army and Asiri Surgical Hospital could save Kajenthini’s life which was in danger. (See Web Article Titled “Kajenthini Back Home; Army Receives Her in Pompous Ceremony” on 23.04.2012 in www.cimicjaffna.lk )

Since then, for the benefit of small children in Jaffna, who are suffering from heart diseases, Sri Lanka Army and Asiri Heart Care Centre launched a welfare project named “Army-Asiri Heart Care”, under which Asiri Heart Care Centre would perform surgeries to Jaffna people sent by Headquarters SF-J free of charge.

Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon of Asiri Hospital Dr. Vivek Guptha who conducted the surgery performs those surgeries without claiming his professional fee while Chief Executive Officer of Asiri Surgical Hospital Dr. Manjula Karunarathne would release them of all hospital charges including food and accommodation. Clinical Director of Asiri Heart Care Centre Dr. Anil Perera coordinates the programme.

Apisha’s father Krishnan Jegatheesan had been a member of the LTTE since 2004. With the end of the war, he was identified, rehabilitated at Kanthaikadu, Pompaimadu rehabilitation centres and released in April 2011. However, he had found the life difficult without regular income to feed his wife and two children when the Commanding Officer 5th Battalion Sri Lanka Light Infantry Lieutenant Colonel G.A.L. Kithsiri arranged a bank loan for him to start a self employment. He is living at Puttur East with his family.

Father of Santhos, Gunasekaran Skandharaja is living at Yogapuram, a Mahaviru village in Urelu. He is a father of two and works as a labourer on daily-wage basis.

Security Forces – Jaffna has sent soldiers to Colombo to give blood needed to patients.

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