GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Wednesday January 11, 2017 – A family from Guatemala is giving thanks for the gift of life this holiday season after their baby was saved by the medical team at Health City Cayman Islands.
Three month-old Kael Jiménez Souza was diagnosed with a severe congenital heart defect called aortic valve stenosis, which required immediate surgery for survival.
Hospitals in the United States were quoting US$400,000 to take his case, but his family could not afford it. When a Health City representative in Guatemala heard about the situation, she reached out to Kael’s family and accepted their case for less than 10 percent of what was quoted in the United States.
Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Senior Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon at Health City Cayman Islands, explained to the child’s doctor in Guatemala the urgency of being transported to the Cayman Islands since the baby could only survive a few hours or days based on his condition. Kael was transported to Grand Cayman via air ambulance and had a successful intervention in less than 24 hours.
“I told the doctor in Guatemala that we definitely can help this child, but they needed to bring him at the earliest because the child may not survive for long with this condition,” he said. Dr. Binoy, as he is affectionately referred to by his colleagues and patients, explained that the baby was suffering from critical aortic stenosis, the narrowing of the exit of the left ventricle of the heart which was pumping blood at only 15 to 20 percent efficacy.
“We were going to the States (for hospital care but) when they sent the quotations it was very overwhelming,” explained Álvaro Jiménez, Kael’s father. “We got very worried because we had to save his life, but money was a big deal … so this is another main reason we came here because it was 10 times (more affordable) than the States. They were making everything much easier to come here …. and more human.”
“It’s not a permanent surgery, it’s not the cure,” stressed Dr. Binoy, describing the surgery as ‘palliative’. “The child must have another surgical procedure when he is older to address this issue definitely,” said Dr. Binoy who along with his cardiovascular team have performed more than 200 surgeries in two and a half years at Health City, and with excellent results.
“Saving a life is a lot more important than putting a price on a life,” he reflected.