'He's the most beautiful thing in our lives'
“I was a mechanical engineer in a small company, when COVID hit the country and businesses everywhere started shutting down. I lost my job, and have been struggling to find work ever since, relying solely on my savings to keep my family fed and sheltered. Through all that darkness, Shivansh was our ray of light, the most beautiful thing in our lives. We just want him to recover, to smile again like he used to. And he’s so close! He just needs to stay in the hospital for a month! But I can’t afford it...” — Jeet, father.
For the first 8 months of Shivansh’s life, he’d been completely healthy. He loved getting tickled by his dad and laughing for hours on end. He enjoyed grabbing his mother’s nose every time she leaned in to kiss his forehead, giggling when she yelped. Shivansh was a happy baby.
Now, he’s lying in the ICU. He’s had five surgeries, leaving three scars on his head, and one on his stomach. He’ll have two more once the tube from his brain to his abdomen is removed. After all this, he can survive. All he needs is a few more weeks in the ICU.
“We’re so close... After going through so much, if anything happens to him... He’s just 9 months old!” — Neha, mother, trying to hold back her tears
After 2 years of a happy marriage, and 8 blissful months raising Shivansh, everything changed for Jeet and Neha when their baby developed a fever one day. The fever became pneumonia, and a few days later Shivansh's eyes started crossing. The first-time parents were equally scared and confused.
“We didn’t know why he was so sick. After taking him to a few different hospitals, one doctor finally prescribed an MRI, and that’s when we found out... There was a tumor in his brain! Our son was dying!” — Neha
The tumor in his brain was larger than his fist, it blinded this poor baby
“We were already in shock after the doctor showed us the scan and told us what it meant, but then our baby went blind! He was in the ICU by then, and had started crying, so I was handing him his favorite toy, but he wouldn’t take it. A few seconds later I realized he couldn’t see it! I immediately gathered my savings, and borrowed money from friends, to get the tumor removed. He needed 4 more surgeries after that due to complications, each one breaking our hearts into smaller and smaller pieces. The only thing that kept us going was the thought that, in the end, we would get to take our son home. But now...” — Jeet, father
All he needs is a few more weeks in the ICU
To investigate and treat the underlying condition that caused Shivansh's tumor in the first place, and to manage any further symptoms and complications, he needs to stay in the ICU for another few weeks, maybe even a month. Currently, he also has a tube connecting his head to his stomach, to drain excess spinal fluid from around his brain, directly through his digestive system; this needs monitoring as well. His doctors are positive this little one can make it, with 24x7 medical care and attention. But his parents have spent everything they had, and more. They can’t afford the additional 20 lakhs.