"We started noticing swelling in the head when Aryan was about 11 months old. We assumed it was due to us holding him in the wrong way. It happens with a lot of kids, if you hold the head a certain way, the shape changes. Little did we know, it was something else entirely, and far worse than what we had thought…” - Gurunatha, father
His woes began a little less than a year after his birthGurunatha and Laxmi became parents for the first time in January 2020. When their baby finally joined them earth side after months of anticipation, the couple was stoked to begin a new life journey as parents and a family, blissfully unaware of the danger lurking in the shadows of their happiness.
For the first 11 months of his life, Aryan, their baby boy, showed no signs of any abnormality. He had been like any other infant, growing on par with his age and achieving his milestones at an adequate pace. But things went wrong so fast, they never saw it coming.
“Eventually alongside the changes in the shape of his head, we realised that our baby had some developmental delays. That was when we knew something was terribly wrong. Now he is a little over 2 years old, and he is yet to take his first steps, or say his first words. He can barely sit or stand without support…” - Laxmi, mother
He suffers from a rare and serious neurological birth defectBaby Aryan suffers from craniosynostosis, a congenital condition in which the bones in a baby's skull grow together too early. This happens before the baby’s brain is formed and causes problems with brain growth and head shape.
The edges of the skull bones or sutures normally close by the age of 2 or 3. But in Aryan’s case, his head has stopped growing in the areas where the sutures have fused, and expanded abnormally in other areas. His brain does not have enough room to grow to its usual size, due to which there is increased pressure inside his skull.
“I look at other children, and I can’t help but feel upset. Why is it that my child has to suffer like this? I just want him to receive proper treatment, and get better. He needs to undergo a surgery, but the cost is just out of our reach.” - Laxmi, tearfully
The doctors insist on urgent surgery, or his condition could lead to serious complications like blindness, seizures or even brain damage. His life-saving procedures comprise cranioplasty and foramen magnum decompression. Aryan can greatly benefit with early medical intervention, and be able to live a normal life.
These poor parents have run out of all optionsAryan’s family hails from Hubli, Karnataka, where his father, Gurunatham, is a welder by profession. The breadwinner of his family, he earns around INR 8,000 a month. He has already spent over INR 3 lakhs trying to get his ailing son treated. But, it is still nowhere close to the INR 40 lakhs required for Aryan’s surgeries.
"My son is only 2 years old, and has had to endure a lot. We just want to free him of his suffering. He is our only child, and all we want is to give him a good life. I would like to urge people to help me financially, so my son can get this surgery and live like a normal person.” - Gurunatha
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