Open heart surgery boy not responding well

Nearly three weeks after two-year-old Udesh Ragubar’s open heart surgery was declared a success, he suddenly stopped responding and “a swelling in his brain” was discovered, his worried mother said yesterday.

Udesh Ragubar

Ragubar, of Edinburgh, East Bank Berbice was diagnosed with an enlarged right ventricle as well as dilated right atrium and right ventricle. The boy had experienced trouble breathing and his mother said that he would walk a short distance and would get tired and “pant for breath.”

On April 12, Ragubar underwent open heart surgery at the Caribbean Heart Institute (CHI). After surgery, Ragubar’s mother, Urmilla Luckhoo, told Stabroek News that her son was doing well. She said for four days after surgery, Ragubar was up and playing and eating and responding to the things and people around him.

However, she said after the four days Ragubar started to become unresponsive. He would just lie there and stare off into space. He was not speaking or moving much. She said that after this was observed for some days, Ragubar was given a “head scan” and doctors told her that he had swelling in the brain and “a damage”.

Luckhoo was unable to fully explain what the “damage” was. She said he was taking medications for the swelling in the brain for about two weeks now.

When this newspaper visited the mother and her son yesterday in the CHI, the child just lay on his bed staring. His mother tried to coax a response from him to no avail. Luckhoo was told that she should “hold on and pray” for her son, but anxiety is slowly taking over.

Yesterday, she picked him up to take a walk outside his room and he began to grunt. Luckhoo said she did not know why he did that and pointed to how limply his body sagged against her.

Luckhoo adds that he is being fed through a tube that is taped to his nose.

Ragubar is among seven children who have undergone open heart surgery at the CHI. The paediatric surgeries are a first for Guyana.

Stabroek News had highlighted Luckhoo and her husband’s frantic attempt to raise funds to take their son overseas for surgery and US-based Guyanese George Subhraj contacted the family and informed that the surgery could be done locally.

Subhraj was the largest contributor in the government/ private sector venture, which was estimated to cost about US$50,000. In the meantime, Luckhoo had raised $500,000 locally for the child which she had said would be used to off-set the expense for his further medical care.

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