English | Dzongkha Monday, October 23, 2017

Thailand Paediatric Surgeon Foundation offers heart surgeries for 99 Bhutanese children

Tshering Zam, Thimphu
Dec 10, 2016

Thailand Paediatric Surgeon Foundation offered heart surgeries for 99 Bhutanese children suffering from congenital heart disease. This is done in appreciation and as a mark of respect and good will to His Majesty The King for the prayers following the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.

The first surgery was held yesterday, coinciding with the auspicious occasion of the 10th year of His Majesty’s Reign.

A class four student, 11-year-old Yeshi Gyeltshen is the first Bhutanese children to undergo heart surgery. He left for Thailand on December 5, which marked the Birth Anniversary of King Bhumibol.

Yeshi has been suffering from congenital heart defect from early childhood days. Congenital heart defect is a problem in the structure of the heart that is present at birth. His disease was first diagnosed during routine school health check up.


“I would like to thank His Majesty The King for supporting us. I hope I can live a normal life after the surgery. In future, I wish to serve my parents and government” Yeshi said.

“I would like to thank His Majesty for supporting my sick child. For poor people like us, we cannot afford the heart surgery,” added Yeshi’s mother Tashi Tshomo.

According to the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Bangkok, the first heart surgery went successful.

Children with congenital heart diseases requiring surgery will be referred to Thailand after evaluation from hospitals in the country. It is expected that after screening, diagnosis and referral, the surgeries will be completed in the next two years.

The two airlines, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines offered to sponsor the airfare for the children and their caregivers. The Royal Thai Consulate also offered to waive off their visa fees.

His Majesty the Late King Bumibol Adulyadej passed away on October 13 this year. A news release from Royal Office for Media says while Thailand was plunged in sorrow, Bhutan also shared their grief due to exceptional relations that exist between the two countries and the immense respect that the Bhutanese feel for Late King Bumibol.

Upon His Majesty’s Command, prayers were performed across the country, including in all the major religious centres in Bhutan, and the national flag was flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.

His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen visited Thailand to pay respects to King Bhumibol on October 15.

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