“Our baby girl was coughing so much that after a point, she became breathless. I was shocked to see her turning blue all of a sudden. She was gasping for breath – the distress on her small, cute face was unbearable to watch. He needs to spend two more weeks in the hospital to survive, but I cannot afford it on my modest income.”-Sreenivasalu, father.
Geethanjali and Sreenivasalu’s premature baby had already spent 10 days in hospital following her birthGeethanjali had a normal pregnancy, with no complications until she started experiencing a piercing pain at 32 weeks. She was admitted and despite doctors’ strong efforts to prolong her pregnancy, she gave birth the very next day. The baby girl was severely underweight and had to spend 10 days in hospital to gain weight considerably.
“My wife was praying continuously as they wheeled her into the delivery room. I consoled her saying everything would be well, even when I was dying inside. I had taken care of her so well – how could she be in such a situation? All we wanted was for the baby to be born alive and well. I breathed a sigh of relief when the nurses told me that my baby girl was fine, but had low birth weight. I was concerned, but I also knew in my heart that she would be fine soon.”-Sreeninvasalu.
The baby girl was doing well until she became breathless all of a suddenSrrenivasalu and Geethanjali thanked their stars when they were able to take their baby home from the hospital. They vowed to do everything in their capacity to take care of her well. They believed that their family was finally complete. Their baby had also started gaining weight in a few days - from 1.4 kg, she became 2.2 kg. But this happiness did not last for long. On the 6th of this month, the baby started coughing continuously, like she was in a lot of pain. She started tossing and turning like she was suffocating. We were given medicines to control her cough when we visited the local clinic. But after a day, she stopped drinking milk completely and when she turned blue – the parents knew that this was serious.
“Thankfully I was there at home when our baby girl stopped breathing completely. We ran with her in hand for a few kilometers before we found a vehicle. My wife was crying continuously. When we reached the hospital, they immediately cleared her airway and rushed her to the ICU. We have not recovered from the shock of seeing our daughter like that – we thought we had lost her.”-Sreenivasalu, with tears in his eyes.
Harrowing memories of the loss of their first child torment these parents in this sad situationThis is not the first time that Geethanjali and Sreenivasalu are at the brink of losing a baby. Two years back, Geethanjali had to undergo an emergency abortion at 5 months as her unborn baby was not growing properly. Those painful memories are still fresh in her mind. She cries all day holding on to her husband, as she thinks she will lose this child too.
“I don’t know how to console my wife. When she sees our baby’s body covered in those tubes and equipment, she gets really anxious. She asks the doctor every 10 minutes whether the baby is alright. She does not eat or sleep well. This has taken a huge toll on her mental and physical health. I just hope nothing happens to the baby as we will not be able to bear another loss.”-Sreenivasalu.
Their baby will not survive without ventilator support and prolonged ICU care, but Sreenivasalu cannot afford itGeethanjali’s baby girl was diagnosed with severe lung infection and is currently on ventilator support. She is still not able to breathe on her own as her lungs are compromised. Her parents are filled with anxiety and guilt seeing their baby girl’s condition, but they have been assured by the good team of doctors that she can survive with proper treatment. The only impediment to saving her is money, which is out of the reach of Sreenivasalu at the moment.
A man of modest means, Sreenivasalu is struggling to arrange enough funds to save his baby girl
“I hail from a lower-middle class background and earn a meagre income working in a private company in Bengaluru. My aged parents are completely dependant on me. Somehow, I managed to borrow money and have been able to pay Rs 1 lakh at the hospital. My daughter needs to spend more days at the hospital, but I am not sure whether I will be able to continue her treatment. She doesn’t deserve so much suffering – she deserves a chance to live, but I cannot save her.”-Sreenivasalu