Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery

The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery

The Salam Centre is run and managed by the Italian based humanitarian organisation EMERGENCY.
Since April 2007, the Centre provides high standard, free of charge paediatric and adult cardiac surgery.

Fahima: record n.300

The attention that we are paying to her case could be surprising to her. For us it is a significant step, to Fahima Elheber it says nothing that her open heart surgery will be the 300th at the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Khartoum. She walks around in her pink pyjamas in the corridors, already on the road to recovery after her operation. Eating her lunch at the patients canteen. She is well.

She is 1.55m tall and weighs 34 kg, 20 years old and the 2nd of six siblings. She is Sudanese and lives in El-Faw, 4 hours away from Khartoum. Her family is poor and her education did not advance beyond elementary school. She is blind in her right eye damaged in a accident 10 years ago when she was playing with her friend.

Fahima was seen for the first time at our centre on 12th July. Consequent to rheumatic illness, she was limited in the amount of physical activity that she was able to undertake and suffered fainting episodes. She was diagnosed as having severe mitral valve stenosis. She was identified as needing open heart surgery and was put on the waiting list for an operation.

On 18th November the waiting ended her mitral valve was replaced with a mechanic valve which requires a anticoagulant treatment. It is normal for such a circumstance to be one of anxiety for young girls that are supposed to get married and have children. We asked her if she wanted to get married, she laughed and responded no. It is sad to imagine that her destiny is shaped by her accident. To us Fahima is smiling, but perhaps she thinks that life is not smiling on her. We are also astonished by our 300th open heart surgery.

Gina, Khartoum

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