New Delhi: For the past two weeks, a consignment of breastmilk has been arriving daily from Leh at the IGI Airport here for a newborn undergoing treatment at a city-based capital.
Born on June 16, the child was just two days old when he was bought to Delhi for treatment of tracheoesophageal fistula with oesophageal atresia. The condition, though not uncommon needs surgical intervention within 48 hours of birth.
In this condition, the upper portion of the food pipe is connected to the windpipe which required immediate surgical intervention.
Generally, this condition gets diagnosed in the early trimester but only where good screening is possible.
The lack of facility prompted the family to bring their first child to Delhi’s Max Super Facility Hospital in Shamilar Bagh but the mother could not accompany them due to a C- Section delivery and lack of accommodation in Delhi.
The baby was stabilized and operated upon on June 19 when he was just four days old.
Dr. Harshwardhan, Principal Consultant, Paediatric at the hospital told ANI, “The child could not swallow and was always drooling saliva. His food pipe was not built properly. The upper portion of the food pipe is connected to the windpipe. We have some common friends through whom they contacted me. It was obvious that the child needed urgent surgical treatment. The child was airlifted from Leh and bought here by his maternal uncle and father.”
“The next day we took the child for surgery. The child tolerated surgery very nicely but the had a chest infection as it was already four days. He was put under ventilation for two-three days,” added Dr. Harshwardhan
The initial assessment was to send the child back home in Leh within 10 days, however, it got delayed by a few weeks as he developed a post-operative localised anastomosis leak which healed in two weeks.
31 years old Jikmet Wangdus, the father of the child told ANI, “After I heard doctors discussing breastfeeding, I tried to make arrangements to get my baby to breastfeed. In a joint effort from all the doctors, the nurses, the people who used to come from Leh and Vistara, we could save our baby.”
Every day for more than two weeks the mother gave her milk in a bottle to somebody coming to Delhi from Leh. Then either the maternal uncle or father used to collect it and used to give it to the nurse.
“It is not often that we find such a father,” Dr Harshwardhan said.
After the initial five to six days the hospital realised that it would be a big financial burden for the family and took the decision to discontinue all charges.
At present, the 35 days old child is off any tube and is taking normal feeds. The family is set to return to Leh on Friday. (ANI)