“My wife, Seema and I always wanted to have a girl. Our happiness knew no bounds when our prayers were finally heard. We were eager to take her home from the hospital but she fell ill. She underwent a heart surgery just weeks after birth. I had to beg and borrow from my relatives and finally when that wasn't enough, I had to take a loan by keeping our farm land for her treatment but she never got better. My baby is still fighting for her life- Neeraj, father
Despite undergoing a surgery, the baby's condition is in dangerNeeraj and Seema’s baby girl was born with fused arteries and 2 big holes in the heart. Even her lungs were very weak. She needed a high-risk surgery before she turned 1 month. Without the surgery, she wouldn’t have survived. Seema and Neeraj were relieved when the doctors told them the surgery was successful but soon she developed infections and became critical.
“I was happy when they told me that her surgery was successfully done and we can take our baby home soon. But fate had other plans for us. Now she has infections in her body that can kill her at any moment.”- Neeraj
Initially, doctors thought that antibiotics would make her better. But soon, they realized that the baby has recurring sepsis (severe infection in the body) and needs more time in the hospital. The little one’s immunity system is very weak now and she doesn’t have the strength to fight infections. If she doesn’t stay in the ICU, it will be very hard to save her.
Seema with her baby
Poor mother can’t stay with her daughterNeeraj's wife, Seema underwent a surgery to get her uterus removed due to complications and is in no position to travel from their village which is 170 kilometers away from the hospital in Delhi. Despite being weak, Seema hasn't spent a single second worrying about herself. She longs to hold her baby but she cannot travel and needs rest. While Neeraj struggles to take care of the baby in the hospital, Seema has no option but to stay home with their 6-year-old elder son.
“Neeraj calls and tells me how she is doing. I don’t even know if my daughter will ever be able to come out of the hospital. I don’t know if my baby will ever be able to see the home that was ready to welcome her.”- Seema
Neeraj with the baby
Despite mortgaging his only piece of land, Neeraj can’t save his daughterNeeraj’s income was dependent on the rains. But now he has no income. He had to mortgage the land and get money for his daughter's treatment after he exhausted everything he had and what he borrowed from relatives. With no income, he is in neck-deep debt. Neeraj and Seema need another 14 lakhs to continue their daughter's critical treatment.
“We had a small plot of land where we harvest rice, wheat, and sugarcane depending on the season. We had to mortgage that only piece of land we had. There’s no villager or relatives that we haven’t asked help from.There are lenders who keep coming and asking when we can pay them back. How can I explain to them that I have a baby daughter fighting for her life”- Neeraj
Seema and Neeraj