Celebrating our families
February 24, 2023 | Contributed by Preeti Kumar
Family – Where Life Begins and Love Never Ends.
I am sure for most of us reading this blog, our families have been one of our biggest support systems, our safety net and the springboard from where we have been able to jump high to achieve things that we have wanted.
This month as we observed the congenital heart defect awareness week, we cannot help but salute and celebrate the families of our children, the parents, relatives and siblings of the children we support who have had nothing but pure love for their child. They have fought through many hardships and challenges only to ensure that their child was given a chance at life.
As a foundation working for children, we get the opportunity to interact with every single family first hand. The moment they hear the words that “Your child has a problem in the heart” they are thrust into a world that they were never expecting. Starting from trying to understand what the doctor has just diagnosed their child with, to fighting back their emotions and tears, to running with their child from one hospital to another, to travelling long distances for their child’s treatment, they do what it takes to ensure that their loved one can live. This is where we experience what love can do and what not leaving the injured behind truly means.
“My grandson was really unwell and the doctor in the village told me that he has a hole in his heart. The treatment for this would be very expensive and I would have to go to a big city to get the treatment done. My son and daughter-in law both are handicapped and neither is able to work. I was heartbroken and did not what to do, but I could not give up on this little child. I travelled with him to Delhi, visited 3 hospitals and finally met a doctor who promised me he will treat my grandson. With God’s help we found the financial support and now my grandson will be well enough to look after his parents.” A true story of a grandfather that provides a glimpse into the determination, love and dedication of our families.
Congenital heart defect treatment is expensive making it extremely difficult for families to pay for it. There have been cases where they have been ready to sell their land, their little assets, borrow money from employers, relatives only to save their child. And this where we, a foundation working for children step in- where
we try to ensure that no parent needs to resort to such drastic measures to save their child. The family members travel to the hospital where they can find the treatment for their child, camp there till the entire time the treatment is going on, very often leaving the other children behind back in the villages to save their child.
What makes our families our heroes are that inspite of the financial hardships that they have to face in getting the congenital heart defect treatment, they never let socio-cultural myths and biases impact their resolve to save their loved one, in a country where traditional medicines and rituals promise to me the cure, they overlooked all of those to get the right help at the right time for their child.
“We prayed for a son and when we found out that he had a hole in his heart we did not know what to do. We saw him get weak and get tiered easily and not be able to do things that his friends did. But we resolved that we would get him the right treatment, no matter what” words of a father after his son was treated at a partner hospital.
Our families are the anchors on which we are able to reach out to the children who need help for their heart defect. We salute their resilience, their determination, their resolve and their belief that life precedes everything and as they understand that #HarDilDhadaknaChahe.
We celebrate our brave families who make this quote sound absolutely true:
“I wouldn’t change you for the world, but I would change the world for you”