A word from our partner Aishwarya Trust (www.rhythmofheart.org)
Aishwarya Trust was founded in March 2008 with the inspiration, guidance and support of my dear friend. The story of Aishwarya Trust begins with the story of Aishwarya, my beautiful daughter whom we lost to a congenital heart defect 20 years ago!
Aishwarya was born on 30th Oct 1987! She had big luminous eyes and looked fragile and delicate, like a porcelain doll but had a strong will and mind of her own ! Her congenital heart defect was detected 40 days after her birth during a check up with the physician. We consulted many cardiac specialists and they said that she had a complicated heart condition with Tricuspid Atresia, Pulmonary Stenosis and the BT shunt would be the first line of treatment. The BT Shunt was done on her 1st birthday in Mumbai, India. She did well after the surgery and could eat better and also started walking. At the age of 3, Aishwarya started playschool. She was very intelligent and did really well but she used to get tired and cyanotic with physical activity.
We were living in London at this time and the Cardiac surgeons there advised the corrective surgery. The surgery was done in Feb 1991 by a leading cardiac surgeon at a reputed children`s hospital in London. The doctors said that the surgery was successful but Aishwarya never recovered. She was in the ICU for 2 months. I was by her side, the whole time. These were the hardest days of my life ! No parent should go through the trauma of seeing their child suffering and not being able to do anything to help. However we never lost hope…we kept praying for a miracle to happen…but that was not to be! We lost Aishwarya on May 3rd 1991…the saddest day of my life! In Feb 2008, inspired by my friend and with the help of my father, I decided to start the `Aishwarya Trust` in her memory. We started with the mission of raising money to help fund the life saving surgeries of under-privileged children suffering from congenital heart defects in India. We believe that no child should be denied the chance of getting treated just because their parents cannot afford the cost of surgery! In 3 years, Aishwarya Trust has enabled the life saving surgeries of more than 300 under-privileged in Chennai .
We have been working with a team of doctors attached to the Fortis Malar Hospitals Chennai India. It is the dedication, commitment and the exemplary work of these doctors that motivates us to work even harder! It has been a real challenge to raise the necessary funds. All along our family and friends came forward to help and donate money. However it was the contribution of total strangers and people with modest means but large hearts, people like our Audio Visual man, the Printer, the T shirt maker…who highly subsidized their costs for us…that warmed our hearts the most! The noteworthy point about the work of Aishwarya Trust is that it has enabled the children from economically vulnerable backgrounds to get access to the best available treatment in the country. The surgeries are done by renowned cardiac surgeons using most modern technology in leading private hospitals in Chennai. It is also pertinent to point out here that all the money that we raise goes directly towards the cost of surgeries as we have little or no overheads.
The last 3 years have been a real learning and fulfilling experience! It has been hard at times but with every child that we help to save, our faith in this mission only grows stronger! We are grateful to all the Corporates and generous individuals who have supported our work and contributed to our Trust. There are still thousands of children waiting in line for surgery due to lack of funds. We have lots to do and our journey has just begun! My life has changed forever…I am on a special journey and mission now ! Please open your big hearts and help us to save many more little hearts!!
Aishwarya Trust is truly excited to partner with the Gift of Life International Inc and look forward to working with them for the cure of congenital heart defects in children.