Dr. Anna Cavigelli-Brunner, a paediatric cardiologist from urich, Switzerland, spent six weeks at the beginning of 2017 serving at the Children’s Heart Centre of the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. She was a member of Dr. Suresh Rao’s team as an observer and actively participated in daily case discussions and accompanied the cardiologists on their daily rounds.
The Paediatric Cardiology wing of the prestigious Mumbai hospital has a philanthropic centre intended to treat children with cardiac problems from all over Maharashtra and beyond. Our Club, the Rotary Club of Bombay Mid-Town aims to support 100 children – the funds for 60 children have already been arranged. The intention is to make this worthy project, a continuing one, over the next few years.
Dr. Anna is a cousin of my husband, PP James Brunner.
When I reached out to her seeking support for the project, she was immediately enthusiastic, and offered to come and serve at the hospital. We are grateful to Dr. Kasbekar who helped to make the connection with the hospital, and with Dr. Rao’s team. She took leave from her position as Cardiologist at the Children’s Hospital in Zurich for a period of two months. Her
husband, Matthias Cavigelli, an enterprise software expert also took two months off from work. Together they moved to Mumbai, enrolled their children in the German School at Breach Candy and began their Mumbai adventure. While Anna became an integral part of the hospital team, Matthias volunteered at
the G5A Centre for Contemporary Culture to lend his data management skills. We are grateful for the two months that the Cavigelli-Brunner family took out of their daily lives in Zurich to devote to service in India.
On January 18, Dr. Anna came to the Wednesday afternoon meeting of the Club and addressed the gathering. She shared how impressed she was with her experience. She commented that the entire staff at the Heart Centre is tremendously skilled and maintains an overwhelming warmth and friendliness even when dealing with the constant, huge workload. She also made a most generous offer to carry the information about the project to Zurich and appeal for grants to various organisations. She certainly plans to stay in contact with the unit and share friendship and continue an exchange of knowledge and skills.
I had the privilege to accompany President Sucharita Hegde, and Rotarians, Yogesh Pandya and Dr. Kasbekar to the hospital a few days ago. They were there to finalise the project and sign the relevant papers. We had a most moving tour of the Centre; looking at the miracle of these tiny infants and children to whom a new lease of life has been offered was extraordinary. We learnt that a large number of the patients who have been operated upon at the facility stay in touch with the Centre and the doctors, and return from time to time to join in celebrations. Truly wonderful!
Thanks to my visit, I got some flavour of the incredible warm and professional family that Dr. Anna had been part of for the weeks she had been in Mumbai.

Indira Brunner

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