The parents of 10-months-old Shrushti Shelar spend each day in growing anxiety, as they are aware that the clock is ticking away for their daughter. The Nashik-based couple was heartbroken when Shrushti was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect prior to delivery. The young girl has been battling for life against aortic atresia with hypoplastic ascending aorta. It is a birth defect because of which there is no opening of the aortic valve into the aorta, which distributes purified blood to all parts of the body.
Much like several other parents who come to major hospitals in the city clutching their infant in arms, the Shelars approached Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani Hospital in Andheri. “My daughter underwent the first stage of her surgery in March this year when doctors informed us that her lungs were under pressure as the oxygenated blood was getting directed there,” said Anil Shelar, the father. Shelar who works as a driver with a private transport company back home earns Rs 9,000 a month. He was able to afford treatment at the privately-run Ambani Hospital only after various charitable trusts came together to help him with the funds.
“The hospital bills came up to Rs 2 lakh. I managed to pay Rs 55,000 from my pocket and the foundations arranged for the remaining money. When we returned to the hospital this week for the second stage of her treatment, we were informed that this time the cost of operation would be approximately Rs 3 lakh,” he added. Once again, the Shelars set about collecting the money through charitable funds over the last few months. They have managed to garner Rs 2 lakh but are falling short by a lakh. They are under immense strain as the doctors have informed them that Shrushti needs to undergo the operation as soon as possible.
While the couple left for Nashik on Friday evening after consulting the doctors, they are running from pillar to post to scrape together the cash to give their daughter a fighting chance at life. “We also approached a doctor at KEM Hospital while looking for affordable treatment. But we were told that they had a huge waiting list and neither enough staff nor the facilities for post-operative care,” said Anil.
Anyone willing to help Shrushti in any way can contact Anil Shelar on 839 036 5761