Dr. Gopi Nallaiyan and his wife Dr. Hema Nathesan are one of those few couples who took an odd decision of quitting their corporate jobs and decided to serve children suffering from congenital heart disease (CHD).
Having access to good medical services and health care is a costly affair in India. Even though there are government hospitals available which provide affordable treatment services, there are nearly 78,000 infants in India who die every year due to CHD.
Due to lack of awareness about this disorder and high costs involved in the surgeries, families belonging to lower economic strata often find it difficult to get treated on time resulting in early child deaths.
After witnessing these helpless children, Dr.Gopi decided to do something for them. It was then with the help of his wife Dr. Hema Nathesan, he set up the Little Moppet Heart Foundation which aims to provide financial and medical support to every child who is suffering from CHD.
“Reaching out to the children from the lower economic strata who need treatment for CHD is quite vital because their families are daily wage laborers who can hardly afford for their daily full meal.” says 36-year-old Dr. Gopi.
Most of the rural health facilities are well equipped to handle outpatient cases and also conduct minor surgeries. But most of the families will not afford to lose their working days in search of free treatment and a medical specialist. Hence the child’s fate of inevitable passing away is accepted.
It all started in 2015 when Dr. Gopi met a six year girl who was diagnosed with CHD. Though the child’s parents learned about her disease when she was a six months baby, they couldn’t do anything and by the time they approached Dr. Gopi, her chances of survival were negligible.
After going through many incidents like these, the doctor couple decided to start the Little Moppet Heart Foundation.
Located in Tamil Nadu, this foundation has screened approximately 4,200 students through the government school health screening system and have touched the lives of 800 children within a span of just five months.
This couple wishes to help families across India and also aims to work in the states which have an underdeveloped healthcare system. “Our vision is to not only take The Little Moppet Foundation camps to all these rural areas, but we also envision a robust referral system where the parents are helped in every step till their child gets the right treatment at the right time,” says Dr. Gopi Nallaiyan.