Doctors said Mumbai baby would not live, he survives three complicated surgeries

Updated: 21 December, 2017 19:13 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai

Five-month-old preemie weighing 900 gm undergoes and survives three complicated surgeries

It wouldn't be misplaced to call baby Veer The Boy Who Lived. The infant has survived all the challenges life has thrown at him since the time he was in his mother's womb. Veer, who was only 900 gm when he was born, made it through three complicated, life-saving surgeries. All of 2 kg now, Veer is on his way to becoming a healthy baby. However, the path to his good health has been fraught with complications that began when his mother Gitanjali Rathod was seven months into her pregnancy. She developed blood pressure issues and the foetus began showing signs of growth impairment. Sonography reports showed the foetus was chronically deprived of oxygen and nutrition. Baby Veer was then delivered on July 19, in the 31st week of Gitanjali's pregnancy as there seemed to be no sign of survival in utero.

Baby Veer with his parents Punit and Gitanjali Rathod
Baby Veer with his parents Punit and Gitanjali Rathod

Not just premature
"So, we received a baby who was premature, but more importantly oxygen deprived since a long time, which had made his organs extremely fragile and under-functional in addition to being immature," said Dr Hiren Doshi, paediatrician from the hospital where Veer was born. Veer had severe breathing problems and paralytic intestines. He was given surfactant in the lungs directly to better their functioning and put on a ventilator for improved oxygenation. But by the end of two days, calamity struck. Because of the problems of the ischemic intestinal wall (when blood flow to the intestine gets blocked), the baby developed a hole. "This is one of the most severe and dreaded of the complications of necrotizing enterocolitis, where a portion of the bowel dies. Survival is bleak even in bigger and more stable babies. This 900 gm baby was in no way going to sustain a major surgery at this stage. So, we decided to do a stop-gap procedure to buy time to stabilize the baby. Our surgical team did a bedside drain insertion to help decrease the infection," said Dr Doshi.

Veer made it through three complicated and life-saving surgeries
Veer made it through three complicated and life-saving surgeries

More holes
But again within just three days, when the child was only six days old, he developed more holes in intestine. The newborn baby, who was extremely weak, underwent a major abdominal laparotomy to seal all the holes and clean all the leaked faecal matter in the cavity. Since the intestines were so sick, the doctors decided to perform the complicated procedure- ileostomy. It is a process where the large intestine is removed through an incision in the abdomen. The end of the small intestine is divided and brought out of the abdomen and stitched on the skin to form a stomach. It looks like the inside of the cheeks but is actually the folded lining of the small intestine that is pink in colour and round or oval in shape.

Veer made it through three complicated and life-saving surgeries

Finally at about four months, when the child doubled his birth weight to 1.8 kg, he underwent a final surgery to rejoin his intestines and close the ileostomy. "Generally, in such kind of complications, it is suggested to abort the child but as my wife was seven months pregnant, it was not an option for us" said Punit, Veer's father. After staying at the hospital for the first 150 days of his life, Veer now weighs 2 kg. Though it is a sign of improvement, his growth is unlike other normal newborns.

"He has started taking milk and liquid foods but his growth is still limited. We never thought he would survive but he did. We have named him Veer," added Punit.

Discharged at last
Veer was discharged last week. But the family's struggle is not over yet. They have lost every last penny due to the surgeries and treatment. Since they are in need of Rs 26 lakh to continue with Veer's treatment, they've turned to crowd funding on the site Impactguru. "I don't want to lose him. But I need more money, so I have started a crowd funding campaign on Impactguru. I request people to help me," said Punit.

Last week, a pair of conjoined twins, after spending over a year being joined to one another, twins Love and Prince were successfully separated on Tuesday, post a 12-hour surgery at the Wadia hospital

150 No. of days Veer spent in the hospital
Rs 26 lakh Amount needed for Veer's treatment

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First Published: 21 December, 2017 15:25 IST

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