“Every time I go into the NICU to see my baby, I am greeted with painful cries. I tell myself that I need to be strong for her sake, but looking at her like this breaks my heart. Her swollen head is giving her a lot of discomfort, she is unable to bear the weight of it and it hurts her. As a mother, I only ever wanted for my baby to be born healthy. Instead, at just one month old, our baby is fighting to survive...” - Vaishnavi, mother
Only minutes after their baby’s birth, they learned that her life is in dangerSambhaji and Vaishnavi had been married for a few short months, when Vaishnavi learned of her pregnancy in September, last year. The thought of being parents became their ray of hope amid the pandemic which had adversely impacted their lives. They had been looking forward to welcoming their bundle of joy. But they never expected that their happiness would be short-lived.
“About two days before my due date, my stomach started to hurt. It was really bad and I thought I was going into labour, but my water had not broken yet. My husband immediately took me to the hospital, where I got a sonography done. That was when we were told something was wrong, and that I had to undergo an operation and deliver my baby immediately. I was so scared. The thought of losing my baby… I wouldn’t be able to bear it.” - Vaishnavi
She has excess fluid in her skull that could lead to brain damageVaishnavi delivered a baby girl through an emergency c-section, and just as the ultrasound had revealed, the baby’s head was abnormally swollen. She was shifted to the NICU immediately after birth and diagnosed with a condition called Obstructive Hydrocephalus.
This means that there is excess fluid buildup in the baby’s brain that is putting pressure on it. The fluid or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF - that surrounds the spinal cord and brain) is constantly produced and absorbed by the body. But in the case of Vaishnavi’s baby, it has accumulated within her skull causing her brain to enlarge.
She needs to undergo surgery, but her parents cannot afford itThe few days that she has spent on this earth have been the most painful for Sambhaji and Vaishnavi’s baby girl. Now, only a surgery will be able to help her live and she needs it within the next few days, or her condition will worsen. But these parents cannot afford the surgery which comes at a steep cost of INR 8.5 lakhs.
“I am only a poor labourer. I don’t have a stable income, and now because of COVID-19, I haven’t even been able to find any work. The situation is so terrible and it is difficult for me to even put food on the table some days. 8.5 lakh rupees is an amount that I can only dream about... where do I get so much money from? I don’t know how I will save my baby with no money…” - Sambhaji, father
With Covid-19 and ICU restrictions, these parents are unable to spend much time with their baby. Vaishnavi is still recovering from her operation, but she misses no opportunity to hold her baby in her arms. They eagerly wait for the day they can take their healthy baby back home with them.
“We have spent about 25,000 rupees so far, which is everything we had. We have even begged and borrowed money from people that were willing to help us. We don’t know what else to do now. Please help us save her. You are our only hope now.” - Vaishnavi
Sambhaji and Vaishnavi appeal to you for your help and generosity in saving their baby girl. Any contribution you make will be of immense help. She needs this surgery at the earliest, or she won't make it.