“I don't even have a home – I stay in a small shack that we have to put up where we find space. My entire family is dependent on me and it is my responsibility to save my 1-month-old grandchild. He is a small baby and we don't have the money to help him. I work all day in six houses and what I make is not enough to save my grandchild.”1-month-old baby of Teja was a perfectly healthy baby boy until he began to choke, unable to breathe in the middle of the night. With no man in the house to help, his grandmother, Shyambai, held him in her arms and rushed him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. This baby boy now needs treatment until he can recover and go home.
Shyambai with her grandson at the hospital
Shyambai walked to the hospital in the dead of the night to save the babyShyambai is at the age where her ability to work is reducing. But even so, she needs to work all day to care for her eldest disabled son and her younger son's wife Teja and their two children. She works as domestic help in six houses trying her best to earn enough to eat.
It is Shyambai's determination that saved the life of her 1-month-old grandson. When he fell sick and started to choke, unable to breathe Shyambai picked him up and walked on foot to the hospital in the dead of the night. His 23-year-old mother Teja thinks that Shyamabai is the only reason her baby survived.
The baby has been admitted to the hospital and is in the ICU till the seizures stop
“He had a bad cough. His small body would be racked with constant coughing. I could see he was getting tired. I tried my best to comfort him but he did not get better. Suddenly in the night, his body was jerking violently. I thought he was having fits. If not for my mother-in-law picking him up and taking him to the doctor, I don't know what would have happened,” explains Teja.
This innocent baby was born family a lot of family turmoil. Teja's pregnancy was difficult and her husband, losing patience, left them. Shyambai kept Teja's spirits and took care of her at this time. She even took a loan to get Teja an emergency C-section.
Teja (left) and Shyambai at the hospital with the baby
Hope for a better life keeps this family goingIn the short month that he has lived, the baby has been having constant colds and coughs. There are times when his small lungs are so congested that his body starts having seizures. The doctors suspect this to be a combination of pneumonia and whooping cough.
This is a very difficult illness for a baby this small to beat. His mother and grandmother have done everything they could have to save him. He needs to continue staying in the hospital, taking antibiotics and remain under observation to get better. Paying for that treatment is impossible for Shyambai alone who earns only Rs 6,000 a month.
Shyambai already has a pending loan of Rs 2.6 lakhs for her elder son's treatment and for Teja's c-section. All her avenues of help have dried up. Despite being so energetic and resourceful at even this age, she cannot raise the Rs 5.4 lakhs needed to save her grandson.
Teja and Shyambai have left no stone unturned in getting the baby treated - but their ordeal is far from over
“This small baby spends all his days coughing violently. His small body knots up in pain and desperation to breathe. I feel sadness in the pit of my stomach when I see such a small baby suffer so much. I am fighting off sinking into my misery every day, but if something happens to this blameless child, I won't not be able to die in peace in this life,” explains Shyambai.
How you can helpHer husband abandoned them years' ago and her eldest son injured himself in an accident that damaged his spine. Her younger son has left them, leaving Shyambai alone to take care of his two young children. In every waking moment – Shyambai feels only anxiety about her family members.
Your contribution at this crucial time will give Shyambai the much-needed hope that she has been waiting for.