Tara and Madhukar are anxiously waiting outside the NICU for their baby girl to come to her senses. She just had a major operation, within 20 days of birth, to drain out the excess fluid collected in her brain caused by a birth defect she is suffering from.
She has a risk of a crooked spine and dysfunctional brain foreverRight after the baby's birth, doctors noticed her condition and ran immediate tests. She was diagnosed with Neural Tube Defect which affects 1 in 4000 babies. It happens when a baby's brain and spinal cord are underdeveloped due to lack of Folic Acid, a common symptom faced by anemic women. She has a hole at her back because her spinal cord is protruding outside. If this hole is not closed within a few days, her spinal cord and backbone will never develop properly. This might lead to a lifelong crooked spine and other deformities in this little baby.
"She has been in the NICU since birth. Doctors have said she probably has this defect due to my nutritional deficiency but my husband tried his best to be able to afford everything he could for me to eat during my pregnancy. He has gone empty stomach on some days just so that my baby and I could eat. Now my baby weighs only 1kg and is so critical. We don't know what to do." - Tara, mother
Father fears his touch might hurt his baby
" Today, her condition got serious and the doctors urgently took her for surgery to drain out excess water from her brain through a tube. If they didn't do that immediately her head would have swollen up and this pressure would have caused a lifelong brain injury. But now she needs another surgery for her spine that is bulging outwards. I have only a few days to get 14 lakhs otherwise my baby girl will have a crooked spine forever and her brain will not function. She is so fragile that I've not held her even once out of the fear that I might hurt her."- Madhukar, father
She needs 2 more surgeries to surviveWhen Tara was pregnant, Madhukar made every possible effort to gather some savings for their baby. He even toiled as a labourer after farming because it was difficult for him to manage Tara's health with his income. They hardly had money to afford her regular ultrasounds and blood reports. Unfortunately due to that, little Nirasha's birth defect was undetected and now she needs 2 surgeries and hospitalization for months to be able to survive.
They ate hand to mouth with no savings to spareThese parents have left their 2-year old daughter with their relatives and are now struggling to save their newborn daughter too. Tara is still under recovery from her cesarean and her baby's condition has traumatised her mentally. They have never known what savings are because every day they would struggle to have food on their table too. They ate out of what they earned and sometimes slept empty stomachs. They have to get lakhs of rupees in a few hours otherwise their baby girl will not make it.
Despite such harsh conditions, little Nirasha has still been fighting for every breath for the last 20 days. She is determined to meet her parents and with a little help, her surgery can happen. Her parents are praying for a miracle and now only you can answer their prayers.