“He can only lie down in one position – on his back. He cannot roll over or attempt to sit like normal babies do. He cannot verbally tell us that it is hurting him, but his cries tell us more than we want to know. Every minute of existence is painful for our baby.” - Vidhya, mother
8-month-old Swaraj is suffering from a condition called meningocele, a swelling in the of the membranes that cover the spine and part of the spinal cord. It is a birth defect that can cause severe complications like brain swelling, epilepsy, apart from obvious discomfort. Swaraj needs urgent surgery to avoid these problems and live a healthy life.
‘It just kept on growing and growing’When Baby Swaraj was born, his parents noticed a small swelling on his back, at the tip of his backbone. When they consulted a local doctor, they were told that it was nothing and that it would go away on its own. But that is not what happened.
The swelling grew into a bigger swelling and then over time, into the fluid-filled lump that it is today.
“Doctors are saying that we need to remove it with surgery as soon as possible. As he grows older, the problems caused by the lump will also increase. He will never be able to walk or sleep normally without the surgery. But what worries me the most is that his intelligence may be affected, and he could get mental disorders too.” - Jitendra, father.
‘I make Rs 200 a day…I cannot afford his treatment’Jitendra is a daily wager who works on farms. His wife Vidhya also used to help him with work before their baby was born. Now Vidhya spends all her time taking care of her son, as he needs extra care. Swaraj’s condition worsened around 20 days back, and he has been admitted in the hospital since then. His surgery needs to be scheduled soon, but his poor parents have no way to arrange funds for it.
“He is being given medicines because the lump is causing him severe pain and discomfort now. We stay in the hospital, looking for some way to get some money, but nothing has worked out so far. We are hoping that you would help us save our son. You are our only hope in this difficult time.” - Jitendra.
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