“My baby makes grunting sounds while breathing that have become more intense and recurrent now. They are a constant painful reminder of the fact that her heart condition is only getting worse with time. She looks like a 3-month-old instead of a 1-year-old due to stunted growth as a result of her failing heart. I have been delaying her surgery due to lack of money for months now and fear that something bad might happen soon. Guilt is giving me restless days and sleepless nights.”-Shiv Kumar, father.
An auspicious occasion ended in bad news for Baby Shivani's family1-year-old Shivani is the third child of Shiv Kumar and Asha after Khushi (9) and Muskan (6). The family is forced to live in a one-room apartment in Delhi, owing to their poverty. Despite his poor finances, Shiv Kumar always managed to take care of his family’s needs and keep them happy. He always strived to make his little girls’ wishes come true, even if he had to work extra hours or borrow money for it. Last Holi, the family was busy smearing vibrant colours on each other and making merry as usual when Baby Shivani became very sick – she was running a high fever and had a bad cold. When she started having breathing trouble all of a sudden, they rushed her to the hospital where she had to be admitted for 10 days due to a severe lung infection.
However what was more devastating for the family was when they learned shortly after that that their little angel had two holes in her heart. This means that oxygen-rich blood can mix with oxygen-poor blood. As a result, some oxygen-rich blood is pumped to the lungs instead of out to the body. This was causing her severe respiratory issues due to poor oxygen circulation. She needs an urgent heart surgery to survive.
“Ever since her diagnosis, life has become so difficult for our baby – she can hardly drink breastmilk properly. She gets irritable when I try to feed her dal water or something nutritious.”-Asha, mother.
With nobody to help him out in these distressing times, Shiv Kumar is struggling to save his baby girlShiv Kumar earns his living by painting walls on a contract basis, for which he is able to earn Rs 10,000 monthly. Being the only breadwinner of his family, the meagre amount he earns hardly suffices for every need and he has to borrow money on some months to meet expenses. But he used to manage nevertheless. But ever since Shivani has become sick, Shiv Kumar is unable to do so. He has already spent all his savings on her medicines and tests alone. He has many relatives in Delhi, all of whom refuse to help him in this hour of need. He was so positive and full of life once, but now he is torn between the burgeoning treatment expenses and mental agony.
“I used to be the person who would console people and tell them everything would be alright. But now, nobody is there to help me or console me. I hope and pray that nothing worse happens to my baby before I can arrange money for her surgery.”-Shiv Kumar.
How you can helpBaby Shivani is suffering from a severe heart disease. She is not growing well and looks like a 3-month-old instead of a 1-year-old. It can cause heart failure if she is not operated on urgently. Her father is a poor painter who cannot afford her surgery.
Your kind contribution can save this baby’ girl’s life