40-day-old infant is yet to cry

A 40-day old child continues to battle for life as she was born inactive after an emergency c-section.

Born on May 12 after a nine-year wait for parents, Asatha Shetty hasn’t cried yet and doesn’t respond like a normal child, Gulf News reported.

Connected with several tubes and pipe, she is yet to feed by mouth.

As the infant battles for life in Al Wasl Hospital with doctors trying various procedures to resuscitate her, the parents are distraught as they struggle to meet the cost of treatment.

"I know my child is in a very critical condition, but as a parent I want to do the best I can till she is in my care," Ashwini was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

Ashwini’s trauma began when she was in her seventh month of pregnancy and the baby in her womb began to gasp for breath due to loss of fluid in the uterus. It came as a rude shock to her as she had conceived after nine long years since the birth of her first child.

"Everything was going well and I don't understand how the fluid loss could go undetected during my regular check-ups," said Ashwini who was consulting a private clinic in Sharjah.

The condition forced her to undergo an emergency C-section at a private hospital in Sharjah where Aastha was born at 36 weeks and three days. The baby was not breathing initially but subsequently began to respond although there was considerable damage to her brain.

Aastha has been diagnosed with "severe perinatal birth asphyxia with intra-ventricular bleeds and neo-natal convulsions". She is also afflicted with a severe brain injury with fluid collection but a shunt operation to remove the fluid cannot be done until her condition improves.

"The neurosurgeons have recommended periodic ventricular taps until her condition stabilises when a VP shunt will be performed," she said.

But the issue is mounting cost of treatment as the middle class family has already spent Dh25,000 and can ill afford more.

Ashwini works as an export coordinator with a private food company at Jebel Ali, while her husband works with a realty company and neither of them have any medical insurance.

"We have no clue how long the treatment will take or how many surgeries have to be performed. All the treatments are sensitive and very expensive," she said, worried about how the family will foot the mounting bills.

The family thought about shifting Aastha to their hom country, Indian, but that too is not possible given the infant’s present condition.

"Besides, the arrangements and cost of shifting her are too much. We will be grateful for any help we can get," she added.

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