A father’s resilience
August 11, 2020 | Contributed by Arti Barwa
I have recently started working with Genesis Foundation – an NGO that helps with CHD treatment for underprivileged children. Before the lockdown, every week I would meet with parents who work so hard to give their children everything possible.
There are stories of courage and endurance and some that leave a lasting impact. One such instance is the struggle that Apsara and Altamash went through for little Rayyan.
Apsara and Altamash were a small family of three when they got the exciting news that they were expecting another child. Altamash was overjoyed with the thought of his growing family.
He relied on his scrap dealing work to fulfill his family’s increasing needs. His diligent efforts ensured that his 4-year-old elder son attended a private school in LKG through EWS (Economically Weaker Section) quota.
Apsara’s pregnancy was quite peaceful and whenever they went for an ultrasound, it would only be tears of joy seeing their little one’s progress on-screen. Keeping in mind the doctor’s advice they would happily leave the cabin with pictures in their hand during the visits.
During the whole period of pregnancy, all the reports and tests were normal. Thus, time passed and Apsara gave birth to a little baby boy on 30th September 2019 in a private hospital. The baby cried immediately after birth and showed no neonatal issues. His parents were discharged from the hospital with a healthy baby.
They brought their baby home and named their little angel – Rayyan Ansari. The whole family was feeling ecstatic. But the joy was short-lived. Rayyan began suffering from a severe cold and cough. Upon visiting the doctor in January 2020, the doctor diagnosed Rayyan with an irregular heartbeat and suggested that he be taken to a bigger hospital with better facilities. Since Altamash did not understand the severity of an irregular heartbeat, he asked the doctor to provide medication for his son’s cough and cold since it was the winter season.
In the meanwhile, Apsara started paying more attention to Rayyan’s health. She took extra care of her son by following a strict feeding and medication schedule for his health. But even after a week, Rayyan’s condition did improve. He wasn’t his cheerful self at all. In that moment, Apsara’s motherly instinct knew that there was something not right. So she requested her husband, Altmash, to show their son at a private hospital once.
Altmash agreed and they both went to a private hospital for Rayyan’s check-up. The pediatrician examined Rayyan and decided to conduct an echocardiogram without further delay. The results clearly stated that Rayyan was a confirmed case of Congenital Heart Defect. Rayyan was diagnosed with PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) which means an open hole in the heart between Descending Aorta and Pulmonary Artery. Rayyan required the closure of this hole in order to lead a healthy life.
But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining, one of Altamash’s friends advised him to take his son to Max Hospital in Saket, Delhi because of the well-known pediatric department. He did not delay even one bit and arranged a private vehicle to reach Saket. At Max Hospital, Dr. Neeraj Awasthy – a Pediatric Cardiologist evaluated Rayyan and advised the parents for immediate device closure along with briefing them of the expenses.
Altmash bared his financial condition to Dr. Neeraj. Luckily our association with Dr. Neeraj has been an old one and he knew that Altamash needed us. The foundation’s belief lies in the treatment for underprivileged children and we immediately came to Altamash’s rescue sharing his burden of the medical expenditure.
For his son’s treatment Altmash deposited Rs 30,000 and the remaining amount was covered with thanks to our CSR partnership with Springer Nature India Pvt Ltd. Rayyan was operated successfully on 22nd July 2020 and has been discharged now. He is doing absolutely fine.
Apsara and Altmash’s family is one of many to whom we have given a new lease of life. Our Foundation strongly believes that no life should ever be lost due to lack of funds.
I feel lucky that I am a part of this process where we touch other’s lives with a smile and healing touch.
My happiness in what I do for a living is incomparable.