“As soon as my wife gave birth, instead of hearing that she and the baby were doing good, I was told that my baby girl had a serious heart condition. The doctors at the government hospital told us that there was no time to waste; we had to immediately move her to a good hospital or she would die. I had not received my daily wages for that day, but my wife, Ashwini, our newborn baby girl and I left for the next train to Chennai from our hometown of Tiruvannamalai”-Venkatesan, father of 28-day-old Sakthi, who is fighting for her life in the ICU now.
Baby Sakthi was born with her heart on the right side with her vessels abnormally connected, thereby making her body receive less oxygenated bloodAshiwini made sure she used to go for regular scans during her pregnancy, despite her family’s poverty. None of the scans had showed that her baby had a grave problem like this. Baby Sakthi’s heart is functioning abnormally because oxygenated blood is getting stuck in lung circulation while the rest of the body is receiving deoxygenated blood or bad blood. The doctors at the Chennai hospital in which she is being treated now, had to make a small emergency opening in the wall of heart to aid some mixing of these two bloods so that her body receives some oxygen.
“When she was born, I immediately noticed that she had blue hands and legs. Her face also looked like she was suffocating. When I heard the doctor say that she has a heart defect, I fell unconscious from the shock. I got high fever the day we arrived in Chennai. Now I am sick too – I couldn’t take the fact that my daughter was born unhealthy,” says Sakthi’s mother Ashwini, who is currently admitted in Egmore government hospital for high fever and loss of consciousness.
Ashwini is not able to meet or feed her baby now because of her illness, and it is making her sickerAshwini suddenly developed a condition from her anxiety and had to be admitted immediately. She has not been able to even get a glimpse of her baby. Let alone give her baby breastmilk for the past few days. It is taking a toll on her mental health as she is a new mother who is supposed to be resting now instead of taking the stress.
“I was not expecting such a horrible fate for my baby at all. It has really put me off balance. I cannot eat or drink properly…all I think of is my daughter who is struggling to survive in The ICU. I know that my husband is struggling worse than me. He does not have anybody to help him or console him in this tough time”-Ashwini
Venkatesan has no relative or no friend to help him in Chennai, and is forced to sleep by the roadside
“I came to Chennai with literally nothing in my pocket. We did not take proper clothes also because we were told that it is a life-and-death situation for our child. Now, my wife is unwell too. I have to keep shuttling between both the hospitals where they are admitted. In the case of my wife, Ashwini, she is admitted in a government hospital, so I only have to worry about her getting better and not funds. I cannot say the same in my baby’s case because she needs advanced care and it will definitely cost a lot of money. I have never been put in a situation like this before; I am completely lost. I sleep by the roads and drink tea from Amma canteens. That is how life is nowadays”-Venkatesan with tears in his eyes.
These desolate parents have nothing to save their first child
How you can helpBaby Sakthi has a blood infection currently, for which she is being treated. After that is controlled, she will need an emergency arterial switch operation where the main vessels in her heart will be switched to their proper positions. The surgery costs Rs 4 lakhs, and her father does not even have one-tenth of that money with him. It is impossible for him to arrange it in such a short span of time as well. Without the surgery, her heart will become weaker and eventually stop functioning.
“I earn only Rs 300 a day. And that also I only get work for three to four days a week. I was preparing to look for a more stable job when this emergency happened. I don’t know what to do. Please help me”-Venkatesan
Your kind contribution can help heal this baby’s heart
The specifics of this case have been verified by the medical team at the concerned hospital. For any clarification on the treatment or associated costs, contact the campaign organizer or the medical team.