15 years after having their first child, Shankar and Sarala were over the moon to discover they were pregnant again, that too with twins. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when the babies were born prematurely at 7 months with serious complications. The newborns, a boy and a girl, are now struggling to survive in this world they haven’t had enough time to get ready for birth in their mother’s womb.
Less than 60 days old, the baby boy has already undergone two surgeries while the baby girl is on respiratory support. Shankar is a painter with sporadic work and is struggling to make ends meet. He is unable to pay for his newborns’ already mounting bills and continued care that could help his twin babies live.
A gloomy end to a miraculous pregnancy
The pregnancy was a lovely journey for Sarala as she had never expected to have twins. They celebrated and discussed names for girls and boys with their entire family. Their happy story changed when Sarala got extremely weak, showed excessive swelling in limbs, began to bleed and had to be rushed to the hospital. The doctors at the local hospital delivered the twins in a C-section, but suggested to rush them to a Children’s Speciality hospital because of a lack of neonatal care facilities on their premises. The twins were transferred to Kanchi Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital, where they were placed in incubators.
A painful beginning for twin livesThe baby boy soon showed signs of a bloated stomach after being fed, and the doctors said he needed a surgery to correct perforation in the intestines. It took two critical surgeries on his tiny body and an ileostomy (a small hole in the stomach to drain body wastes) to put him back on the road to recovery.
The baby girl developed breathing problems from bronchopulmonary dysplasia because of her underdeveloped lungs. She has been on emergency respiratory support until she can breathe well on her own. They have both been in the hospital for six weeks now, and need additional 12 weeks of care.
Shankar and Sarala come from a humble home in Palavakkam, Chennai. They have struggled to support their livelihood and the education of their teenage daughter on Shankar's income that has been unstable. The family named their son Krishnaraj, and daughter Swarna Mithra (after the doctor who brought her into this world).
"We're praying to God to help them live." says Sarala.
How can I help?Shankar, a daily-wage laborer, hardly makes Rs. 10,000 in a month if there is a steady workload, and does not have enough savings to cover the medical treatment costs for the twins. So far, each surgery for the baby boy has cost 1 lakh, while other medical expenses including the treatment for the baby girl have amounted to Rs. 8,00,000. The twins require continued treatment at least for three more months to reach the optimal weight and heal from their neonatal complications.
These parents are distraught that their newborns are in great pain and hanging by a thread. Your support can go a long way in helping these twins stay alive and have a healthy life.