“When I first held him in my arms - he was so small and precious... I just couldn’t believe he was ours. All the pain and discomfort was instantly forgotten, and the long hours of labour were worth it. But in the blink of an eye, my world came crashing down around me. I was suddenly watching helplessly as my newborn was fighting for his life, before he's even had the chance to live it!” - Narayani, mother
He suddenly started having breathing troublesNarayani’s baby was born at full-term after a smooth sailing pregnancy and a normal delivery. The doctors wrote him off as being healthy, with an ideal birth weight and height, and his parents were soon given the green light to take him home. But only 2 days later, things took a turn for the worse.
“At first, he would be taking heavy breaths, but within a few hours it turned into gasping. We also realised that in the 2 days that we’d been home, he hadn’t passed urine at all. We rushed him to the hospital, and they took some scans and tests. Finally, they told us that he had an issue with his intestines, and it was restricting him from passing both urine and motion...” - Sukumaran, father
He underwent an emergency surgery when he was only a few days oldThe 20-day-old baby was placed in an incubator for 2 days, but there was little to no improvement in his condition. When a friend suggested that they take him to Chennai, these parents immediately took their baby to a bigger hospital there. Scans showed that his kidneys were damaged and he would require emergency surgery.
The baby was diagnosed with macrophage activation syndrome (MAS), an uncommon and potentially life- threatening complication of a condition called systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA), which results in a massive inflammatory response that overwhelms the whole body. MAS can potentially lead to damage in any organ including the heart, liver, spleen and kidneys.
He also suffers from persistent pulmonary hypertension of the new born (PPHN), a dangerous condition which causes a baby to not get enough oxygen because the blood vessels in the baby's lungs are not open fully.
Only a poor fisherman, he has no way to afford his baby’s treatment
“We were so relieved when he started to show signs of improvement. But his heartbeat is still rather weak, and his breathing troubles persist. He’s in the ICU now, and a machine is helping him breathe. The doctors say he needs to remain in the hospital for at least 10 more days and continue his treatment. Only then can he recover...” - Narayani
Hailing from the port city of Pondicherry, Sukumaran makes a living as a fisherman. He earns about INR 10,000, which is barely enough to support his family. With such a meagre income, it is impossible for him to bear the medical expenses for his baby, ie. INR 10 lakhs.
“I’m overburdened by the piling hospital bills and outstanding payments. The hospital stay costs 35,000 rupees a day, and he also has to be given an injection that costs 8,000 rupees. I’ve used up everything I had, and since I’m not in my hometown, I am also unable to work! In this state, how can I possibly afford my child’s expensive treatment?” - Sukumaran
Their newborn is caught in a battle between life and death and these first-time parents are failing to save him. Your contributions will be of immense help to them. Click here to donate.