‘People say she looks like a healthy baby, but her condition can deteriorate at any moment'The liver processes everything you eat and drink, which it converts into nutrients that the body can use. Chintana’s liver, however, has failed. Her condition was diagnosed when she was just a 3-month-old baby. Although she needed the transplant then, she was just 3 kgs – she wasn’t strong enough. Ever since then, she’s been on medication and a strict diet of semi-solid food.
“I take her for tests every other week, and she clings on to me tightly. I can feel her tugging at my shirt. When we’re waiting in the corridors and I talk to other parents there, they always tell me that she looks like a ‘normal’ baby. Her eyes aren’t as yellow as a child with liver failure, they say. I then have to explain that her condition could deteriorate at any moment. That’s the scariest part.” - Pandappa, father
Yes, baby Chintana might look like a healthy child, but her liver is giving up on her. She's in constant pain and cries every time she's in the hospital because she's scared of the needles. She needs a liver transplant at the earliest and her mother, Lakshmi, is even undergoing the tests to be the donor – there’s hope, but no funds.
Owing to her multiple hospital visits, they haven’t celebrated her milestones – and she hasn’t had manyPandappa and Lakshmi couldn’t celebrate their baby’s first birthday. Ever since her diagnosis, they’ve mostly spent their days in the hospital. Baby Chintana will turn 2 this May, but she still hasn’t said her first word yet and hasn’t taken her first steps. She’s not growing as she should.
“All we can do now is wait. I’ve spent nearly 9 lakhs by taking loans and borrowing from family. I feel terrible. She’s reached the ideal weight, my wife is even undergoing the tests, but we just don’t have the money for the transplant. Sometimes I worry that I’ll be the reason we’ll lose her.” - Pandappa