"We are not a picture perfect family. We have not even named our baby because we are afraid we will lose her."
Soni and her second daughter who is unnamed
I was born and brought up in Mumbai, in the slums of Dadar. After class 6, I dropped out of school because my parents’ financial condition was terrible. Right then, when I was a 13-year-old I started working as a housemaid to help my parents and our condition at home.
Years went by and in 2010, my friends introduced me to Sagar. We got to know each other and I fell in love with him. We decided to get married in 2012 but my family gave me such a hard time because they wanted to choose someone else for me. I fought for him. I told them that if I’m going to marry anyone, it will be Sagar. Finally, in 2012, we got married and in 2 years we had our first baby, Saakshi.
Soni and Sagar's family
We were extremely happy because we wanted a girl. Saakshi is the first girl baby in Sagar's family in years. In October 2016, we were blessed with another daughter. But, as a mother, I can’t tell you how much it pains us that we haven't even named this second angel because we're scared of losing her. She has been sick since she was born. She had bad jaundice and her urine was very yellow.
When she was just 2 months old, she had to undergo a liver surgery. My heart was in my mouth back then because my baby was so small. But we were hopeful. But, a month after her surgery, in February 2017, we were told that the surgery was unsuccessful and her liver was failing.
Her urine was still yellow, and her skin now started to turn yellow. Our small baby started to get itchy. We went to several hospitals and they all said that because the surgery failed, a liver transplant was the only option. To be completely honest, we both didn’t even know what a transplant meant. We’ve never come across it. The doctors said that she’d get a new liver.
At first, we thought they were joking. We ran around several hospitals and most said that they couldn’t do the operation but some quoted 15 lakhs. Such a massive amount! This scared us and out of fear we didn’t go to hospitals for almost 3 more months. You can see how and where we live. We live in a slum and we don’t even get electricity throughout the day, it just starts in the evening. How can poor people like us afford this? We only continued her medicine, but her condition got worse. Now, her eyes are yellow too.
In November (2017) we decided to take her to the hospital again. We were explained, in detail, what a liver transplant truly is. Again, we found ourselves running around to different hospitals and to my horror, someone also said that, “Play with her as much as you can, love her as long as she lives because without a liver transplant she just has a few months before she dies.” On hearing this, any mother would cry.
In fact, I was in tears every time we’d come back from the hospitals because everyone made it clear that she can’t live without a transplant. Again, you can see how and where we live, there is no way we can afford this. Sagar works as a driver and whatever we save, we spend it on her medicines, which is around Rs 2000 a month.
When you look at her, it’s hard to think that she’s ill. She still laughs and plays and calls me “ma”. But she hasn’t been able to grow at all. She’s already 16 months old and she’s so small and hasn’t been able to walk or even crawl properly. She shouldn’t die because we’re poor. It’s hard to think that she’ll be no more in just a few days but I want to do everything to save her. I will donate a part of my liver but how can we afford Rs. 16.5 Lakhs for the surgery? She is so critical, and I know it keeps getting worse because her eyes and skin turn more yellow every day.
Soni Tidke and her husband, Sagar, have no way to save their 16-month-old daughter. Due to Biliary Artesia, her liver has completely deteriorated and now, she is extremely critical. Her only hopes of survival are to get a liver transplant as soon as possible. Soni and Sagar are running out of time and need your help to save their baby girl.
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.