Family travels from India for lifesaving surgery at
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Saloni Seth, 6, of Delhi, India, has a new chance for a healthy future, thanks to lifesaving care she received at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. For Saloni and her parents, Himanshu and Mrinalini, her treatment was the long-awaited answer to a seemingly hopeless situation.
Born with a congenital heart defect, Saloni underwent an unsuccessful valve repair surgery at age 2. In the years that followed, her growth was stunted and her condition worsened. Her parents searched desperately for a solution, consulting top doctors and surgeons in India, but were repeatedly told that there was no future for their daughter. Watching her suffer with frequent chest pains was a way of life for them.
In June 2011, a glimmer of hope emerged—Himanshu and Mrinalini sought out and met V. Mohan Reddy, MD, a world-renowned pediatric heart surgeon from Stanford University, who was visiting Hyderabad, India to perform surgeries. After all other doctors had turned them away, the Seth family finally found the answer they were looking for: “I am sure I can do it,” Dr. Reddy said. Unfortunately, despite Dr. Reddy’s willingness to operate and his confidence that he could repair Saloni’s heart, she caught a severe infection and her surgery had to be called off.
Saloni’s parents stayed in touch with Dr. Reddy and persisted, trying to find another way. They soon realized that his home hospital at Stanford was actually Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, named after the wife of HP co-founder David Packard. Himanshu, an employee of HP in India, began asking within the company if there was some way that HP and the hospital could help his daughter. Their story eventually came to the attention of key players at HP headquarters in Palo Alto, who helped the family connect with Packard Children’s.
In December 2011, Dr. Reddy successfully repaired the mitral, aortic, and pulmonary valves in Saloni’s heart. Thanks to her wonderful care, Saloni improved quickly and was discharged just a week later. In the 15 days after the surgery, she gained one kilogram, and another kilogram in the following month—a remarkable milestone for a child who had gained only two kilograms total in the four years prior.
“A miracle has happened. She is blossoming like a beautiful flower,” Saloni’s mother reports. “The medical expertise, care, service, and coordination at Packard Children’s is par excellence in its true meaning. This was just a timid dream, and you all made it happen.”