This brave 10-month-old baby girl survived a liver transplant, she needs our help to go home | Milaap
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This brave 10-month-old baby girl survived a liver transplant, she needs our help to go home

10-month-old Aarhi Bhattacharya was diagnosed with biliary atresia three months after she was born. Her parents, Priyanka (29) and Manjul Bhattacharya (34) clearly recall the day as the most terrifying one. “One moment we were trying to make our baby laugh, and the next she had needles pierced in her tiny arms and abdomen to collect test samples”, says the baby’s mother, Priyanka Bhattacharya.
Aarhi was diagnosed with jaundice three days after she was born and was subjected to photo-therapy for a day. Unaware of the impending misfortune, the family took the baby home once the treatment appeared to have worked. She was fine for three months until the parents, unbeknownst to them, began to notice the tell-tale signs of a faulty liver. 

We noticed that her eyes and stool had turned yellowish. Her abdomen was beginning to swell. We took her to a hospital in Guwahati and there she was put on treatment for next three months. Despite that, the doctors weren’t able to identify the root of her illness. It was then that we decided to take our baby to Delhi”, recounted Priyanka.

My baby has been through a lot

Upon meeting with doctors in Delhi, Aarhi was finally diagnosed with biliary atresia with neonatal jaundice. The tragedy befell the happy family when the doctors recommended urgent liver transplant as it was only treatment that could save her life.“It was our worst thing that could have happened to us. Imagine knowing your 10 months daughter needs to undergo a liver transplant to survive? We are a family of modest means. When the doctors told us that Aarhi’s treatment would require 16 lakhs, we were at loss. My husband is the only earning member of the family and his salary is Rs 20,000 per month. My mother-in-law is a patient of ovarian cancer and we have spent close to 15 lakhs for her treatment. My husband has to give up his job because Aarhi requires lot of moving. For the first few days, I couldn’t even sleep thinking about how to arrange the funds. But I couldn’t let my kid die, could I?”, said Priyanka.

Without a transplant, she will not make it 

Biliary atresia in newborns is usually treated via a procedure called Kasai. However, it is only effective if carried out within three months of life - contrary to what happened in the case of Aarhi. As her diagnosis itself had been delayed, bile produced in her liver continued to build up. This resulted in severe damage to the cells of the liver, eventually causing cirrhosis. 

Aarhi was admitted to Max hospital in Delhi from last twenty days. On early Thursday morning, however, she was found having trouble with breathing. 

“The doctor told us she is looking dull, we need to immediately carry out the transplant or she won’t live”, recalled Priyanka.

Still a long way forward for this 10-month-old

A 12-hour long procedure, where a part of liver from Aarhi’s father (as he came forward as the live donor) was transplanted into her helped her survive. Luckily, both the father and daughter are out of danger now. Her abdomen has gone back to normal and her skin is beginning to lose its yellowish texture. The baby, after months of pain and discomfort, has started taking feeds. But the dilemma continues as Aarhi still has to undergo rigorous post-operative care and has been shifted to Intensive Care Unit for next 21 days.

“People have been generous to us. We have received donations from all around. It is only because of those donations that my daughter lives today. But we still have a huge sum to pay to the hospital within 21 days. I am really worried about that. I am beyond happy to see my baby open her eyes and smile at me for first time in so many months. I just hope this happiness continues and I get to take my daughter home. I just hope I manage to pay off the bills and get to see my daughter live a long, happy life, said Priyanka

How you can help

Aarhi had to undergo an emergency Liver Transplant. The family has to pay the hospital bill of 16 lakhs out of which only 9 lakhs has been paid. They still urgently require the rest of the amount so that Aarhi continues to smile and live a healthy life.

Please contribute and support this helpless mother to look after her 10-month-old baby girl. You are her only hope! 

Supporting documents

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