I met with Dr. Fazal Nabi at his consultation room at Saifee Hospital on Monday. He is a pediatric neuro-emergency specialist and an intensivist on Ahana Mishra's case. He works in conjunction with Dr. Anahita Udwadia Hegde.
Ahana's is a case of Cerebral Palsy (CP) with mental retardation (MR) and, as per her IQ of 40-50 (70 being borderline retardation), she has a moderate retardation level. Her current ill health is a result of emotional deterioration post her mother's death as well as physical complications. Primary among these are: a high risk of infection, aspiration issues (lungs are weak and she needs a ventilator), low nutrition, no immunity and repeated urinary infections due to diaper use. All this forms a vicious cycle to further drag her down. She also has the complications that develop in a bedridden patient and has been experiencing seizures more frequently since her mother's death. She is currently on 4 different drugs to help control her epilepsy, as opposed to the one or two that used to be effective earlier. The doctors aim to bring her seizures under control, keep infection levels down and get her back to pre-illness levels.
At the time of our conversation, Ahana had a nose-stomach tube for feeding, which needed to be removed due to complications of sinusitis and replaced with a tube directly to her stomach. This procedure, called a gastrostomy, was delayed due to Ahana's high fever. There had been no fever in the past 24 hours and surgery was scheduled on either Tuesday or Wednesday. The procedure would be 'short anasthesia' with the insertion of an endoscopic tube through the mouth to the stomach to make a hole in the stomach wall. It is estimated to take 30 minutes.
It was conducted at Jaslok hospital today. I received a call from Poornima (her grandmother) this afternoon saying the surgery was complete and Ahana is currently in the ICU.
The next major surgery that needs to be conducted on Ahana is the extraction of 90% of her teeth, due to severe decay and a possibility of oral cavity infection. According to Poornima, that surgery will cost at least Rs. 35,000.
Dr. Nabi envisages a hospital stay of at least 2-3 more weeks for Ahana. He mentioned that the hospital bill as of Monday was a lakh of rupees. Poornima said today that Mrs. Hiranandani received a cheque of Rs. 5000 from a donor toward Ahana's expenses but more finances will be required. She was glad to learn about the wheelchair cost donor and said she would send me the details of the manufacturer so we could pay him directly.
Ways to help financially:
1. Sponsor the child's gastrostomy tube. Pediatric tubes are more expensive and cost anywhere between Rs. 7500 and 15000, depending on the manufacturer.
2. A night nurse charges Rs. 650/night and a day nurse charges Rs. 350/ day, so the cost of 24 hour help is Rs. 30,000 a month.
3. Dr. Nabi said medicines post discharge will easily total to Rs. 10,000 a month.
4. In addition, there will be PT and OT costs to bear.
He was rightly concerned about post-discharge costs for the child's health upkeep and asked IH to seek donors for the same.
Also, the hospital bills are mounting. Any amount towards this would be welcome.
That's it from my end for now.
Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
This report just in from OrangeJammies. Kind souls who would like to help this child, please do contact us urgently, we will give you details of how you could send your cheque directly to Poornima Goswami, Ahana's grandmother. Alternately you could also send in funds towards the Ahana Mishra case directly to the hospital: