Heart surgery

UAE: Emirates funds rare heart operation for nanny who cared for him for 30 years – News

The 50-year-old initially thought the symptoms caused by her heart defect were a Covid-19 infection

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed, Jan 19, 2022, 11:59 AM

An Emirati has funded the cost of medical recovery with a rare procedure for an Indonesian nanny who has cared for him and many Emirati children for over 30 years.

A 50-year-old married Indonesian, Nanik Harjo worked for more than three decades as the personal employee of an Emirati family based in Abu Dhabi. She was brought to the urgent care section of NMC Specialist Hospital Abu Dhabi on December 30 after suffering from shortness of breath for more than a month.

“I was worried about something serious as I continued to test Covid negative – the usual suspect these days,” Nanik said after her rare successful procedure.


After hearing heart murmurs, the hospital doctor transferred her to the cardiology department. An echocardiogram was performed, which confirmed that she had heart failure. Doctors ruled out asthma and other lung and chest problems after further examination.

She was assisted by Dr. Sanjay Rajdev, Interventional Cardiology Consultant at NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

“The shortness of breath was attributed to his heart failure, which was due to a heart defect causing a lot of blood to pass from the left side to the right side. She underwent a CT scan and was found to have signs and symptoms of heart failure,” Dr Rajdev said.

Dr. Madhava Kakani, HOD and Cardiac Anesthesia Consultant, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain confirmed the diagnosis via echocardiogram.

“The patient had a condition known as RSOV Valsalva sinus rupture – there is a hole near the aortic valve resulting in an abnormal connection between the two chambers. The usual treatment is to close the hole using surgery to open heart.

Dr Rajdev explained: ‘This is a medical emergency causing severe acute chest pain with dyspnoea – shortness of breath or in extreme cases cardiac arrest. The disease has a high mortality rate if left untreated.

Nanik’s treatment options included open-heart surgery performed by cardiothoracic surgeons or, in some cases, a cardiologist. However, as the patient was extremely reluctant to undergo open-heart surgery, she was further tested using transesophageal echocardiography for detailed evaluation regarding the feasibility of non-surgical closure.

“I don’t know much about medical science, but I was sure I didn’t want open-heart surgery,” she said.

Dr. Rajdev confirmed the diagnosis and performed rapid closure of the defect via a special device – a small 12 millimeter nitinol plug positioned across the defect.

“In her case, it was discovered that she had an 8.5 millimeter defect with blood leaking from the aorta into the right ventricular outlet directly below the pulmonary valve.”

After a successful two-hour procedure on January 6, Nanik was discharged the next day with immediate improvement in her symptoms and well-being.

Michael Davis, CEO of NMC Healthcare, said the procedure is rare and he recently heard about it.

“Nanik’s story and her connection to the Emirati family is so touching. I am happy to see our doctors, nurses and technicians continue their quest to save precious lives. »

This procedure using the closure of a device is rare in the MENA region, and only a handful of hospitals are ready to perform it.

Nanik returned to duty within a week without medication for life.

“When I walked out of the operating room, the medical team had a smile on their face while my local Emirati sponsor had tears of joy. The United Arab Emirates is my second home, offering me a new life and a kind-hearted family forever.” Nanik concluded with tears of joy.

The Emirati godfather emphasized the importance of Nanik in his life, considering her as important as his mother. He said he tried to bring his children from Indonesia to care for her, but did not due to pandemic restrictions.