Babirye (center) seated amidst the joyous village members who gathered to receive her from India where she was operated from.

Joy as Heart Patient Gets Back Home after Successful Operation in India

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A 24-year-old Mary Babirye attributes her being alive as a God-given second chance. Babirye recalls the last six-month grave pain and suffering, characterised by the swellings of her face, stomach, hands, legs and the breathing complications, saying she can now smile without any pain.

She recalls that her mother together with her other close relatives had already lost hope in her being alive, given the fact that they had drained all the money on them without any significant change.

“They had spent any penny on them and also sold out other material valuables to secure money for my treatment at Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) at Mulago National Referral Hospital but in vain. UHI had asked for sh23m for my operation which had been scheduled for early this year, unfortunately, we only managed to secure sh3m which we deposited and failed to raise the balance,” she narrates.

Babirye adds that as they were still puzzled with what to do to mobilize the remaining money for the operation, medical officers told her that her health condition had further deteriorated to the extent that she was supposed to get the operation soon, before the end of 2023.

“It was at this moment that I saw myself already dead without any further hope for life!” she recalled.


Babirye putting on a big smile after getting back home in Namutumba as she came back from India where she had a successful open heart surgery.

Babirye’s mother, Jane Nabirye, a peasant from Bulimba village in Nabweyo sub-county, Namutumba district says that she experienced much pain right from June last year.

Nabirye said that after some time when Babirye was complaining about pain as they were keeping her on painkillers, when the situation intensified, they took her to Jinja Hospital where she was diagnosed, revealing to them that her heart valve had blocked.

“They referred us to Uganda Heart Institute in Mulago where life continued to worsen. The treatment and drugs are so expensive; spending their two-four days would cost us millions of shillings,” Nabirye said.

Florence Takuwa, Babirye’s sister says that their lost hope was resurrected by the intervention of a Non-Government Organisation, Tender Mercies Outreach Foundation based in Kayunga district, which had facilitated Babirye’s education since infancy.

Takuwa says that the organisation contacted its founder, Rev. Paul Nsubuga of Relentless Church in USA and AID Spirit USA that funded her open heart surgery operation at Narayanah Hospital in Banhal City in India.

Charles Walakira, the country director for Tender Mercies Outreach Foundation told New Vision that the trip to India and the medical fees for Babirye amounted to sh90m which the poor family could not afford.

Takuwa adds that they were further shocked by the cancelling of their first intended trip to India when Babirye’s poor condition prevented her from walking to the plane at Entebbe International Airport.

“That prompted one of the people we were with to carry her. Unfortunately, when the plane attendants saw her being carried by another person, they cancelled our flight saying they were not ready to transport an ill person,” she said.

Takuwa said that after spending some days at home, they made another attempt to the airport. Fortunately, this time Babirye managed to walk to the plane and they successfully travelled.

Happiness as Babirye was received back in her home village after going through a successful open heart surgery. From left, Florence Takuwa, Nabirye, Babirye and Nakato of Tender Mercies.

Upon getting to the hospital, Babirye’s attendant says that they found when the doctor who was supposed to carry out her operation was going on leave, something which stressed them further.

“I almost fainted; thinking about Babirye’s poor condition, I could not imagine that she was to stay there for another two weeks which the doctor was to spend on leave. Fortunately, she managed to withstand the pain until the doctor came back and she was taken for the operation,” Takuwa said.

She reports that Babirye got a successful operation and spent two days in the Intensive Care Unit. Both the patient and her caretaker spent two weeks in the hospital after the operation and in total, they spent one month in India before coming back to Uganda.

Tender Mercies Outreach Foundation therefore delivered Babirye back to her home village and the whole neighbourhood gathered with a lot of joy and ululations as they received her.

“I am so happy seeing Babirye who was carried from here to hospital now steadily walking without any hardship. I thank God for that, it is a real testimony I have recorded, a poor woman having my daughter get this very expensive operation from India…,” said Nabirye, the mother of Babirye.

Babirye being hugged by her mother Nabirye as they had just landed back in her home village in Namutumba village after a successful open heart surgery in India.

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Following Babirye’s experience, Jacqueline Nakato, the administrator at Tender Mercies Outreach Foundation has called upon the government to increase the funding allocated at UHI to enable it to provide either free or affordable treatment to heart patients.

Nakato said that though there are doctors at UHI, the services there plus the treatment are so expensive making them unaffordable for the poor people in the likelihood of Babirye.


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