Mageshwari is 38 years old. At an age where she hoped to be sending her almost teenage children to school, this mother is struggling to keep her infant son alive. She has not even had a chance to take him home after birth as he was diagnosed with an abscess in the brain.
Our first child was a blessing, but we lost him to heart diseaseIn a small village close to Vaniyambadi, Mageshwari lives with her husband and in laws. Here, the family makes a living by farming on a piece of land. They hardly make Rs. 40,000/year if the monsoons are kind. The past few years have been rough on the family, and they had to sell everything they owned to save a child.
"I was already too old when I conceived. We had given up when our first son was born. 4 years later, he was diagnosed with heart disease, and after a long fight, we lost him!"
This is our last chance to have a family, and now the dream is slipping awayMageshwari was broken after lost her child. Relatives consoled the grieving mother to pray and hope for another chance. Mageshwari thanked God for her newborn son 5 months ago. He was 3.5 kilos, beautiful and healthy at birth. For 3 days, all felt well in the world. It felt like her first child came back to her until he began to have seizures.
"He had a slight fever, and then fits! We were referred to Kanchi Kamakoti from that Vellore hospital. I was going to be discharged. I was supposed to take my baby home but instead, he was admitted to the ICU. He has been there ever since."
5 months old, and the hospital has become his homeMaheshwari's baby boy was diagnosed with an abscess in the brain causing swelling. He needed a shunt to drain the cerebrospinal fluid and has already had several surgical procedures. For 4 months, he has been suffering from several complications, and his mother has been beyond herself in pain watching his little body being poked and prodded.
"If you see him, you will cringe. He has a shunt in his head, something in his neck, holes in his stomach for feeding, tubes inserted in his thigh, and he is continuously being poked for veins because they cannot find one. He got an infection with the feeding tube so they had to put in another... Can you imagine what it would do to a baby? My baby is in pain!"
Who knew having a family would cost us more than just money!In the past 5 months, the family has spent over Rs. 18 lakhs on medical bills. They have sold everything they own, and are knee deep in debt. Their friends and family have helped them as much as possible, and everyone has exhausted resources.
"I have nothing left to give anymore, but I want to take him home. I want to save him! I can't even feed him properly. He is so sensitive to infections, I am not allowed to touch him for long. I just want him to get better and come home with us."