Doctors told them nothing more could be done; that they’ve done all that can be done. They said their daughter Yuvna’s heart condition was too severe. It was too complex. She had surgery and cardiac catheterizations, but now she was at the end of the road.
And then Bhupinder Singh and Dipika Chana, Yuvna’s parents, heard about a cardiologist — Frank Ing — who might be able to help their little girl.
They reached out to Ing, chief of pediatric cardiology at UC Davis Children’s Hospital and a specialist in using less-invasive methods to treat heart and vascular conditions in children. A conversation started. They shared their daughter’s angiograms and medical records and asked for Ing's help.
Yuvna Chana’s diagnosis was pulmonary atresia, a form of heart disease in which the pulmonary valve isn't properly formed, with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart, with major aortopulmonary collateral arteries (MAPCA’s ). It is a rare congenital heart defect that occurs in five to 10 percent of children with congenital heart disease, while Yuvna’s condition was at the severe end of the spectrum.
Ing reviewed her file and came up with a treatment plan: A catheterization that would open up the blocked arteries to the lungs to provide her more oxygen, and it could be done as an outpatient procedure.
“Other doctors turned us down or referred us to other physicians. Dr. Ing was the only one who took our case,” Singh said.
It was the promise of help for their daughter that they were looking for. The Chana family, a family of five, jumped on a plane and made the 18-hour journey from Dubai to Sacramento.
“We didn’t make this decision lightly. It took a lot of deliberation and several conversations with Dr. Ing, who we had come to trust before making the 18-hour journey,” Singh said.
Yuvna had her catheterization in July 2018 and the procedure was very successful. The family made it a two-week trip, providing time for Yuvna to have follow-up care and some time for the family to sightsee in the Bay Area and celebrate Yuvna’s sixth birthday in the U.S.
But the best gift of all has been their daughter’s outcome.
“Yuvna is a lot more energetic, less blue and able to play more with her sisters because of Dr. Ing. Since the beginning of our dialogue, Dr. Ing has shown a level of compassion and care for Yuvna not seen from any of her previous doctors, and we will forever be grateful for all his help, guidance and support,” Singh said.