“This has been our life for nearly one month, every day we pray that we’ll get to take her home. I keep telling Reshma to have faith in Allah. Days became weeks, and we’re still here. I know my baby is fighting hard and I have to do everything to save her." - Jeelani, father
The day of her delivery is etched in their memories forever – they nearly lost herReshma sees her baby every chance she gets. Still healing from her c-section surgery, she accompanies Jeelani every morning to the hospital and waits there till he finishes work. “I still remember the pain I felt in the 7th month of my pregnancy, I knew something wasn’t right,” she recalls.
Reshma and Jeelani’s baby will be 1-month-old on January 12. She was born premature, underweight and struggling to breathe. She immediately taken to the NICU and 8 days after her birth, she started having seizures. The couple is terrified for the baby, and even though her condition is improving with treatment, she’s still not out of danger.
A helper in a small hotel, Jeelani struggles day and night to try and afford his baby’s treatmentThe baby girl needs to stay in the NICU longer, under strict observation to completely recover. However, after weeks of medical expenses, Jeelani doesn’t have much to go on with. The Rs. 350 he earns every day by working in the kitchen of a small hotel in Bangalore isn’t enough to continue his baby’s treatment. They have borrowed from family, and on some days, he even works long shifts, but none of this is enough.
“Somedays we spend our nights in the waiting room of the hospital. But as much as I want to, I can’t stay there for long. I have to work to at least try and afford her treatment. No matter how long my day has been, I make sure to see her. We can’t hold her yet, but I believe that soon, she’ll be with us at home. We’re waiting to name her and watch her grow. It’s my only wish.” – Jeelani