Growing up as a child in Mumbai, India, Divya doesn't remember ever feeling different from other children her age. And yet, for much of her childhood, Divya was living with complex heart problems that brought her halfway around the world for care.
"I hail from a family of doctors, and wanted to seek out the very best care for Divya," says her father, a dental surgeon in Mumbai. So, when Divya was diagnosed with several congenital heart conditions about a month after her birth in 1985, he cast a wide net looking for specialized care. His search brought them to the Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital, and was the starting point of a relationship that would stretch beyond three decades.
Her family's first journey to Boston Children's was in 1987, when Divya's doctors advised it was best to watch and wait. They kept in touch with her doctors in Boston, sending the results of Divya's tests every six to eight months.
In June of 1994, her team decided it was time to act. Divya returned to Boston for surgery to repair a cor triatriatum defect, an extra chamber above the left atrium that can cause high blood pressure in the artery that leads from the lungs to the heart. In May of 2000, she came again, this time for an interventional procedure in the catheterization lab to remove several blood clots from her lungs.
Divya has since had a clean bill of health. But she and her parents continue to travel to Boston every few years to reconnect with her cardiologist, Dr. Kathy Jenkins, and the rest of her team at Boston Children's. She explains, "We've known them for 30 years now, and we've developed a close connection."
Back home in Mumbai, Divya is now practicing as a dental surgeon, specializing in maxillofacial surgery for both adults and children. The 32-year-old loves her job.
"I am more than proud," says her father. "I'm thankful to all the people at Boston Children's who helped bring her to this level."