Subramani and Muthu were overwhelmed with joy when Parasakthi was born, but they had to wait for 3 months to hold her in their arms. She was taken to NICU as soon as she was born because of severe jaundice and breathing trouble. Those three months were their longest wait, and finally, when her parents could hold her, they were terrified to see an abnormality in her backbone but they believed that it would resolve by itself. Their hopes were completely shattered when the hunch became prominent. Baby Parasakthi is now 4-years-old, and she is already ridiculed by her friends and neighbourhood kids. She would cry out of pain if she had to sit in a place for longer than half an hour or stand for more than a few minutes. This young girl still has the chance to correct her deformity, before it puts her in a wheelchair but her parents cannot afford the surgery.
A cruel deformity has filled this 4-year-old's childhood with pain and suffering
As baby Parasakthi grew older, she walked differently and was not able to rest on her back for long hours. It was then that her parents took her to a bigger hospital. When they consulted doctors, they said surgery is the only option possible but she was severely underweight then. They had to wait till her little body could endure the surgery. She has congenital kyphosis which is an uncommon but potentially devastating anomaly of the spine. It is a forward curvature of the spine, mostly in 'S' or 'C' shape. It can lead to problems like difficulty in walking, severe leg pain, difficulty in controlling urination. When progressed, it can lead to crippling or paralysis.
"We knew there was a problem with the way she walked, her head is always bent to the left side but we did not expect it to become worse. We are not educated, one of our relatives took us to a bigger hospital. When the doctors explained her condition we broke into tears. Her curved back has hindered most of her activities, she lies in the bed most of the time because of tiredness." - Muthu, Mother.
Baby Parasakthi does not understand why she is 'different' from others
Parasakthi, despite her condition, is a happy child. She likes to go to school, play with her elder sister Tansika (7). She is studying in Kindergarten, she goes only for a few hours because she cannot sit on the bench for a long time. Her teachers are also very considerate about her health. She is too young to understand why her friends are making fun of her, but her parents and teachers always make sure that she does not feel isolated. Her parents are worried that she may have to live with this cruel fate forever.
"Sometimes she cries out loudly because of severe back pain. There is no position that she can sit or stand comfortably without pain. Her curved spine makes it difficult to walk like others. It is so painful to watch her suffer. It hurts when other kids make fun of her and she innocently asks 'Amma, what is wrong with me, why are they laughing at me?' Fighting back my tears, I tell her that everything is fine with her."- Muthu.
Poor parents are desperately trying to save their daughter from a cruel fate
Baby Parasakthi lives with her parents and her elder sister in Kodaikanal. Her father Subramani is a daily wage worker, who helps in construction work. He earns Rs 500 per day but most of the days he is left with no job. Despite his poverty, he made sure his children go to school. He is determined to help his two daughters grow up with confidence. Every day he takes Parasakthi to school and picks her up. He doesn't want her to miss anything in her life because of her condition.
"All we want in life is to see our daughter grow normal like any other children. We can't bear if she turns crippled completely because of our poverty. My husband has borrowed from everyone he knew but it is nowhere close to the amount needed for the treatment. We need 3,50,000 for the surgery, even if he works this whole year we won't be able to save so much of money." - Muthu.
How you can help
4-year-old baby Parasakthi suffers from spine deformity since birth. She needs an urgent surgery to correct the deformity without which she will become crippled. Her poor parents cannot afford it and they are desperately waiting for help. With your support, they can help their daughter grow normally like any other children.