Heart operation gives boy new lease on life

Ayaan had to wear his oxygen machine at his school graduation last year.


Like the thousands of other Grade 1 pupils out there, Ayaan Bhoopal (6) will begin his new school year on 11 January. But that is not the only ‘new’ thing young Ayaan will be experiencing.

For the first time in his life, he won’t have to use an oxygen machine to breathe properly, thanks to an operation that was described in the Sandton Chronicle article,  Miracles can happen, Week ending 25 November. Ayaan suffers from a congenital heart defect.

Read Health and education receive biggest cut of the budget

His mother, Seshma, said: “The fact that he no longer has the oxygen machine has given him his confidence back and he has absolutely no limitations. He is having such fun without the machine, which was like a leash holding him back. He will always be a fighter and [he] never gave up hope.”

Ayaan on his first day at school.

Ayaan on his first day at school.

She said the family’s Christmas celebrations were amazing because, for the first time in a long time, their son was not in and out of hospital. “He is in no pain and he has never felt better.”

Ayaan described his exciting Christmas Eve: “I saw Santa! I saw the bright, flashing lights of his sleigh and he came down the chimney with my presents. He brought me a toy truck that I can drive and he ate the milk and biscuits that I left out for him.”

Seshma said every little thing in his life made him excited and she was glad he could finally attend school without the burden of a heavy oxygen tank. “He wants to play rugby well like his elder brother Akhil, and he loves art like his elder sister Mikyla, who is studying an arts degree at university.”

Her faith has given her strength throughout her son’s illness. “This child has a touch of heaven in him, and I believe that everything in life happens in God’s time,” she concluded.

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Pascale Michael

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