The inspiring story of a heart patient who braved the odds
Divyani Lamba who is pursuing Bachelor in Mass Media from Ruia College, Mumbai talks about making the most of the opportunities given to her after her heart surgery as a baby.
The birth of a child is the happiest and most beautiful day for theparents and the whole family.
My birth was alittle more special and bought additional joy to my family because I was the only girl child born after three generations.
My four elder brothers were just as excited as my grandparents and my parents to have a sister in the family. My mother always wanted a girl, and my father was so confident that he had already decided on my name before I was born.
As I was the only girl in my family, they wanted to celebrate and immediately planned a trip to my native place, Delhi.
As per the formalities, I had to go for a check-up prior to travelling to ensure that it was safe.
But two words pronounced by the doctor -- stress echo -- were enough to take away anybody's breath.
A stress echo test is made to identify coronary artery blockages and diagnose heart patients. My family's jubilation soon turned to anxious worry.
Their worst fears were realised when the test results were handed out to my parents. My heart was abnormal and would require immediate surgery.
Soon after my birth, I was diagnosed a heart patient.
Image: Divyani Lamba
'Having a passion to not give up has helped me train myself and excel in what I do'
Our doctor was not ready to operate on me, as I was underage as well as underweight, which required specialised care. I was taken to Delhi where I was admitted into the All India Medical Institute for 8 days.
As I was only 5 months old, I was on my mother's feed; but the doctors strictly warned that I was not supposed to have any salt.
Due to these conditions, my mother ate her food without salt for two months -- a sacrifice that I will remember all my life.
I was successfully operated on the August 10, 1993. I spent four months in Delhi with my maternal family and flew back to Mumbai as a healthy and normal child.
This early surgery has left its mark on my life. Today, I am aware of the power of second chances and never want to waste a single opportunity of the life I have been given.
I was inspired by my mother to become a leader. And that is what happened to me even as a child -- I was the class leader from the playgroup till the fifth standard.
I won many school and interschool singing, drawing, debates and elocution competitions and I was always the ranker of my class.
Dancing and music were also very close to my heart. In the third standard, I started learning Kathak at which I excelled under the guidance of my teacher, Madhurita Sarang.
In my first interstate under-12 dance competition, I came third. At the age of nine, I started learning classical music under the guidance of Shri Kishna Rai Soni and trained my voice for six years under him.
Having a passion to not give up thanks to my second chance has helped me train myself and excel in what I do.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
'The credit for my overcoming my fear goes to my mother'
I passed SSC from Auxilium Convent High School and sought admission in Ruia College, Mumbai.
Here, I took part in the Maharashtra Utsav where I won the third prize in Rajasthani folk singing.
Now, I am shaping my future by pursuing my Bachelor's in Mass Media from Ruia College and learning animation from the Frameboxx Institute.
I still have these moments when I am under a lot of stress and I feel like I can't overcome my problems. I feel overwhelmed and fall sick quite easily.
I have to go for regular checkups and be conscious of my health as my heart is a vulnerable organ for life. I can't run beyond a limit; after a while, my lips turn blue and my body becomes cold.
But I remember who I am now --- a career oriented, multi-talented person.
The credit for my overcoming my fear of being ill and for making the most of my life and getting my talent out there to show to the world goes to my mother. She has been so supportive and caring.
And I hope to continue to shine in the same manner in my future.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh