Once An Active Baby, This 1-Year-Old Is Now Suffering Due To A Blood Disease | Milaap
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Once An Active Baby, This 1-Year-Old Is Now Suffering Due To A Blood Disease

Whenever Soyab yelled ‘Atif Bapu, where are you?’ and closed his eyes to ‘hide’, Baby Atif (1) would respond in giggles and come crawling to ‘find’ his father. It was not your average hide-and-seek game, but it was the many things that created a strong bond between this father and his baby boy. Today, when Soyab calls out to him gently, Atif can only make a soft whimpering sound. He tosses and turns in his hospital bed, writhing in pain due to bed sores that have almost covered his back. He is no longer the chubby, healthy child who always had a smile on his face. He has been admitted in the ICU for weeks, fighting a severe blood disease that is weakening him with every passing day.

Atif’s fever would usually go away with medicine, only this time it didn’t

Atif is the first baby of Soyab and Gulzar Banu, who belong to Bhavnagar, Gujarat. They live in a joint family consisting of Soyab’s 3 brothers and his aged parents. Atif was pampered by everybody right from his birth – whenever Gulzar Banu was busy in the kitchen, Atif would cosy up to his grandparents or make one of his uncles dribble balls and watch in glee as they went up and down. 

 “Today, our house feels empty. My parents and brothers keep calling every hour asking how Atif is doing. They tell me to make sure he comes back home healthy,” says Soyab, shedding a tear.

The events that led to his baby’s critical condition are still afresh in his memory. A month back, Baby Atif had fallen when he tried to walk a few steps without holding anybody’s hand. From the next day, he developed a high-grade fever along with a cough and cold.

It was weeks of endless suffering before Atif’s disease was diagnosed 

When their poor baby’s fever persisted despite taking medicines, they rushed him to many hospitals, but sadly none of them were able to pinpoint what was exactly wrong with their baby. It was at a good hospital in Ahmedabad that doctors found the real reason for Atif’s suffering, through a bone marrow test. The child had to be put on a ventilator as his body had become so weak from the procedure itself. He was diagnosed with HLH, a severe blood disease where certain white blood cells attack your other blood cells. These abnormal blood cells collect in your spleen and liver, causing these organs to enlarge. It is potentially fatal without adequate treatment.

"Only if I had the money…I wouldn’t be plagued by nightmares of losing my son"

 Soyab was both relieved and shocked to learn about his son’s condition – relieved because the uncertainty that made him anxious about Atif’s health is over now, and shocked because Atif had never exhibited any signs of illness before. Atif is almost unrecognizable now as he is being administered by strong medicines that are essential to keep him alive. He needs prolonged ICU care to become stabilized. Soyab, a data engineer earning only Rs 9,000 a month is drowning in his son’s hospital expenses.

“Doctors say there is hope for his recovery. I am happy when I hear that, but when I look at my bank balance receipts, I feel let down. I have borrowed a lot of money from friends already…I have nothing left,” Soyab regrets.

How you can help

Baby Atif can be saved from his pain and suffering if all of us choose to contribute whatever we can towards his treatment. Atif’s parents, Gulzar and Soyab have not eaten or slept well in days due to the fear of losing their only baby. His grandparents and uncles are praying non-stop for his full recovery. We can come together and help them.

Your kind contribution can help these desperate parents save their baby boy

Supporting document

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.

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