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20 Years of Hope: Peter

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In the spring of 2021, LWB’s India staff learned of Baby Peter who had been born seven months earlier. His parents were prepared for a heart defect that had been detected by ultrasound before Peter’s birth, but after his arrival, it was discovered that Peter had additional medical issues. Since his heart defect turned out to be quite serious, that took priority. Baby Peter and his family traveled over nine hours by train to the hospital in Amrita.

Baby boy in colorful shirt lies on a pink blanket

Peter had a very complex heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). This is a condition in which there are four different heart problems that cause serious issues due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. The operation was a complicated one, and it took a real toll on Peter’s fragile body.

Indian mother and baby with tracheostomy

A few days after surgery, Peter had to be placed on ECMO to oxygenate his blood. Then he developed a lung infection. Days later when they tried to remove him from the ventilator, he was not yet ready to breathe on his own. We were so worried for Peter and his family!

Several days later, a tracheostomy was performed which allowed Peter to breathe more easily. Following another month of careful monitoring and post-operative care, this tiny fighter was finally ready to return home with his family.

Baby boy in India sitting on table

After Peter’s discharge, there were a few ups and downs — such as the time he pulled out his trach tube, and another hospitalization when he wasn’t gaining weight as he should. Fortunately, doctors were eventually able to remove his tracheostomy tube several months later which made eating much easier for Peter. Finally, he was able to put on some much-needed weight.

Boy on a playground chair in India

Our staff was recently able to check in with Peter’s family for an update. His mother tells us that they take him back to the hospital in Amrita for regular follow-up care. She spoke of how frightened she was before Peter’s surgery. During those scary days when he was so tiny and fragile, she would hold her hand on his chest so she could feel his heartbeat, worried that she might never feel it again.

Indian boy in a red shirt

Peter is doing very well at this point, and his parents tell us that he is very active. They say that his breathing is no longer difficult, and we can clearly see that he has been putting on weight. He has the most delightful smile!

Boy in a multicolored fish shirt

We are deeply grateful to everyone who has donated to our India Medical Care fund. This support has made it possible for Peter, and other children like him, to have their chance for hope and healing. For Peter and his family, our supporters are truly heroes!

Indian boy in multicolored fish
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