Palm-sized 'baby' fights for life as Mira Road couple struggles for funds

Mira Road couple struggles to collect money to support one of the city's lightest babies, who weighed 460 gm at birth

Baby had an extremely weak lung and under-developed organs at the time of birthBaby had an extremely weak lung and under-developed organs at the time of birth

A full term pregnancy lasts between 39 and 40 weeks. Sudhesna Mehra's (name changed) little one, Baby, was born in the 27th week of pregnancy and she weighed a meager 460 grams. According to sources at Surya Hospital, Santacruz, Baby is one of the lightest infants born in the city. She's also unique because a baby usually weighs between 800 and 900 gm in the 27th week. Even as the infant, born on July 5, fights for life, her parents are struggling to gather money to offer adequate medical support to their fragile bundle of joy.

Also Read: Nashik couple's under-weight quadruplets finally survive after a month

The 29-year-old Mira Road resident, apparently, faced several health complications, including hypertension, and was advised to terminate the pregnancy. "I had extremely high blood pressure, which restricted the flow of nutrition to the foetus. The child was so feeble doctors faced difficulties spotting her during ultrasonography tests. We were advised to terminate the pregnancy, but my daughter had a strong pulse rate. So, although she wasn't growing inside the womb, this private hospital gave us hope that she would be fine in a month. They forced us to carry the baby, but her condition deteriorated further. Later, Surya doctors suggested we deliver the baby through C-section. She was palm-sized when she was born," said the mother of a six-year-old son.

Following treatment at Surya Hospital, the infant now weighs 1,330 grams

Baby needs time
The baby was kept on ventilation for almost 45 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), but she is on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) support now, which helps her breathe better. Also, she is being fed milk with the help of a tube, which ensures the milk reaches her stomach directly. According to doctors, her weight has increased to 1,330 gm. Speaking to mid-day, Dr Nandkishor Kabra, super specialist for newborns (neonatologist) at Surya Hospital, said, "This is one of the lightest babies we have ever had. As Baby's growth got restricted inside the womb, some of her major organs remained under-developed. She has had extremely weak lung at the time of birth. But, she's doing better now and, gradually she's gaining weight. She doesn't need a surgery, she just needs more time."

Dr BS Avasthi, an eminent pediatrician and the founder of Surya Hospital, said, "We come across several pre-term cases, but while these babies manage to survive, they tend to develop health issues later. The lightest baby Surya Hospital has received so far was a child born in the 23rd week of pregnancy, who weighed 450 gm."

Baby was kept in the NICU for 45 days and she is on CPAP support nowBaby was kept in the NICU for 45 days and she is on CPAP support now

Money issues
The Mehras have spent over R6 lakh on Baby's treatment, but they need R20 lakh more. Sudeshna said, "We come a middle-class family. We have already sold off our last assets to fund our daughter's treatment. We don't know how to fund Baby's medical expenses. We have started an online crowd-funding forum on Milaap, where we are requesting people to donate for Baby's treatment."

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