“She had just come back from her playschool and was sitting on the floor playing with her dolls when she suddenly collapsed. Her entire body started shaking violently, her eyes rolled back and she was struggling to breathe. I carried her and got into the first auto I saw on the road. I held my shaking daughter in my arms all the way to the hospital, and the seizures just wouldn’t stop. Those 20 minutes of my life were the longest, and the whole way I wondered if she'll even make it to the hospital in time.” – Vijay, Priya’s father
Vijay was able to get his daughter to the hospital in time for treatment, but baby Priya’s fight has just begun. The 4-year-old is now in the PICU, struggling for every breath. When she isn’t asleep, her piercing cries are heard throughout the PICU as she signals for the nurse to take the injection away from her. Priya can barely say a few words yet, and she curls up to one side, trembling and crying in fear and pain. Only continued PICU care can save Vijay and Renuka's firstborn from this agony.
Priya wasn’t like other babies her age, but her parents didn’t realize that her condition was life-threateningPriya was only a year old when her parents noticed that she wasn’t like other babies her age. She wouldn’t look at them every time they called her, she couldn’t grasp or pick up objects and she was far from saying her first word or taking her first steps. Vijay and Renuka were worried and took her to several doctors before they found out that their daughter has delayed development.
“We just thought she was taking longer than other kids, but when we took her for a checkup, scans revealed that a possible seizure when she was born has caused the slow development of her brain. We were told to take her for speech therapy and physiotherapy. With all this, she was slowly improving. She even started walking and saying a few words. We were so happy to see our baby grow and play. Over the past four years, she’s had only two mild seizures. With medicine, she would be fine in minutes. We’ve never seen her so critical, this time we knew her life was in danger.” - Renuka, Priya's mother
Baby Priya has epilepsy, a serious neurological condition that causes an uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. She needs to stay in the ICU for 10 days to survive.
Priya will only survive the violent seizures with treatment, but her father can’t save her on his daily wagesVijay spends all night in the waiting room outside the PICU and often thinks about the first time little Priya called out to him. He had just returned home from a long, tiring day of working at a construction site, and as soon as he entered the door, Priya said ‘papa’ and smiled. Those happy days are now behind them. Vijay and Renuka can’t help but break down every time they see their baby lying on the hospital bed. All they want is to take her home, but without continued treatment, Priya won’t make it.
“It’s the most difficult sight for a parent to watch their child struggle so helplessly. Whenever relatives call us to ask about her, all they can hear are her painful cries. She’s scared, she doesn’t know what’s happening to her. I’m trying to do everything I can to save her, but I’m only a labourer. I barely earn a few hundreds in a day. After borrowing more than a lakh for her treatment, I have no one to turn to for help.”
How You Can HelpPriya used to spend her mornings in her play school, and her afternoons playing with her little sister. She was slowly making friends and learning to talk. Vijay and Renuka were finally hopeful that their daughter would have a normal childhood, but with her critical in the PICU, all their hopes are shattered. Priya can make it with continued treatment, but the treatment is more than what her father can ever afford with his meagre income. Baby Priya needs your help to survive.
Your support will save Priya’s life.