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Little Qudrat' heart seemed to be racing and stopped

The scrawny Afghan baby, Little Qudrat Wardak who arrived Feb. 25 in Indianapolis -- his deformed heart pumping blood backward, an infected eye oozing, fluid-filled lungs laboring -- is no more.

Qudrat's journey to Indianapolis and to better health started with members of the Indiana National Guard stationed at Camp Phoenix near Kabul and the Rotary of Central Indiana, whose 7-year-old Gift of Life program contributed $5,000 toward the lifesaving surgery.

Riley Hospital for Children provided the medical team and covered the remaining cost of the surgery. The latter topped $100,000 because Qudrat's heart defects were found to be more serious than originally diagnosed.

At the time, Dr. Robert Darragh with Riley Hospital for Children said, "In order to have a chance at a long active life, is to do something that corrects the misdirection of the blood in the heart." Qudrat was born with reversed blood vessels in his heart.

From the beginning it was his smile that captivated our hearts.

On March 8 in a six-hour surgery, doctors at Riley Hospital successfully repaired his ailing vessels.

"Everything looked fantastic," said Dr. Ann Farrell, "better than we thought during the operation."

After weeks of follow up visits, a chicken pox scare and some much needed rest with his host family in Brownsburg, Qudrat left for home Monday. He was healthier, stronger and more than six pounds heavier when he saw his mom.

Earlier this week Eyewitness News' Roger Harvey reported, "She was overcome with excitement. She was very happy, not only to see her husband Hakim, but also to see Qudrat and also knowing the fact that he was doing so well."

He was doing so well.

The boy's father told medics his son had woken up crying about 3:00 in the morning, and that his heart seemed to be racing. By the time relatives brought a taxi to take Qudrat tothe nearby US base, his heart had stopped

Along with Hakim, Qudrat's mother Tajbara was hoping to someday move to the United States.

No one in Indiana will ever forget the little boy who touched so many lives and left us with such a smile.

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