Monday, 18 July 2011

Life gives you a second chance…..

Mimi, our help in Yemen was instrumental
 in making Kittu an independent baby…

Kittu arrives in Sana’a and my friends poured in to welcome her in the big Taj Familythere….it was a mixed feeling to be there coz news of Kittu’s ailment…if that is what we can call it…had reached there before our arrival…so people congratulated us with a subtle tinge of sympathy…unspoken emotions! But we respected that…a feeling noone can help….I would do the same….Time flew n things took their course.We had an Ethiopian maid,Mimi….she literally adopted Kittu.She would massage her with olive oil twice a day,specially her legs,to strengthen them,monitoring her medication,Habcaps n flexseed oil to be given on time….Kittu started getting used to things around her and we started getting used to her….a baby with very few demands…. a content child !
 9th April ’04 ,a date unforgettable. All of us were going for a picnic from the colony….all set n ready…got Kittu ready .As I was to leave the house…I remembered something I had forgotten behind…least realising that we were warned about Kittu not being able to sit,stand,walk…etc etc ,I just put Kittu on a low seating sofa and turned away….lo! Kittu was sitting….I just couldn’t believe it…and first thing I reached for …was the CAMERA…which was ready 24×7 in my house…My camera has been my soulmate…sharing all unforgettable moments in my life….I clicked lil Kittu sitting…and we had crossed the first MILESTONE….the doctors were proved wrong for once and I felt victorious….coz now I saw HOPE!!!

Kittu sat for the first time on 9th April’04…
Her first milestone achieved !

I shared the news with everyone around and we literally celebrated….
May month it was and Kittu was down with fever,which continued for sometime and wouldn’t come down.It worried us but there was nothing we could do.Medical facilities in Yemen were not all that reliable.And then we were to get her vaccinated,and we came across an Indian nurse….she just looked at Kittu and startled us by saying…Baby is turning blue….we didn’t know what hit us…she was very cooperative and immediately arranged for a machine to check oxygen level in the body…it was 51%…. Downs children are supposed to have at least 94%…we didn’t know what to do.She was broughthome…her cardiologist in India was contacted,who told us that they needed to immediately do a surgery on her for PDA closure…which they were planning to postpone till she turned 2.She had to be rushed to India…where Dr.Kohli was waiting for us to do the needful.
The couple of days that we passed to reach India were like a nightmare. The cooperation we received from colleagues and friends was overwhelming…tears well up when i think of those traumatic days. Be it Mr.Katoch who organised huge oxygen cylinders to help Kittu get her share of free flow oxygen or be it a group of catholic friends who organised a special prayer meet for Kittu’s well being,in the church.Can we ever forget those selfless gestures?
We departed for India….ready to meet Dr.Kohli….who was instrumental in giving Kittu asecond chance to live….because the condition we had taken Kittu in…to India…we had to place our trust completely in God n for that moment in Dr.Kohli….

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Friday, 15 July 2011

I feel Blessed ……

Ashim Parida said…

Ma. …when you slant your head sideways

And your eyebrows curve into a perfect bow

An understanding smile crosses your face

As you try to make meaning of my stuttered speech

I am blessed

Ma…when you gently hold my clumsy hand

and wade through a maze of odd stares

a forgiving smile crosses your face

As you try to bring rhythm to my crooked gait

I feel blessed

Ma…when you stretch your legs pleadingly

And coax me to sit on your comforting lap

A persuasive smile crosses your face

As you try to calm down my stubborn behavior

I feel blessed

Ma…when I see a drop of tear swell in your eyes,

every time I defy my inherited infirmities ,

A proud smile crosses your face one more time

As you make the world believe, no challenge can ever

Confine my god given self…I feel blessed!

Ashim Parida

Thursday, 14 July 2011

New beginning with Kittu….

While  little Kittu lay by my side on the hospital bed….unaware of the happenings around her….trying to adjust to the new environment ….we as parents and the extended family were trying to battle out with the reality.Didn’t know where to start….she was born on a Saturday and Tuesday was the day she had to get a few blood tests done to confirm her being Downs Syndrome.Came Tuesday morning and we kept our fingers n toes crossed that nothing comes out of the reports.Blood samples were taken….sent to Gangaram Hospital in Delhi,the only place where these tests were done.The reports were expected on following Friday.Finally discharged from the hospital….with a lot of love in our hearts and lot of unfulfilled dreams for the little girl…we welcomed her home.Came Friday morning…the reports were expected.We hoped and prayed…nothing comes out of them all….but as they say…Destiny gets the better of you.Whats bound to happen…will…no matter what you do.We waited with bated breaths while my husband went to get the reports.Every phone call would set our hearts racing….and finally the dreaded moment came….Sushil called and confirmed….Kittu has Trisomy 21!!!!!
Absolute silence in the house….tears flowing down silently too…none of us wanted to talk to each other…the only thought that kept crossing was…what has the little innocent soul done to deserve this.I was upset with God…if he wanted to punish someone it should be me…why my little one? The only saving grace through all this was the entire family’s support….be it parents,siblings,kids in the family…each one stood by us like the Rock of Gibraltar.I can never forget those days of intense emotions,hurt,pain….hatred to some extent…dont know why though!
Now the only option left with us was to take this thing ahead from here positively….we made up our mind….nothing..absolutely nothings going to change our love and commitment towards our little baby.We will fight with fate for her…the decision was taken ..we will do what we can  to ensure that Kittu leads a normal and a happy life!Then started a long and tedious journey….repeated visits to doctors…Downs Syndromespecialist…Dr.I.C.Verma…who would follow up with the treatment for Downs,cardiologist Dr.Vikas Kohli who would moniter her for her heart ailments….Downs kids generally have holes in the heart.Regular medications and follow ups would at least keep her progress on track.Doctors gave us a green signal to take her to Yemen where my husband was posted then.So all of 3 and a half months…she accompanied me along with my older one to a new life at Sana’a,Yemen in Feb’2004…..

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Downs but not out….Kittu’s journey 1….the arrival!

2001 was the beginning of a new chapter in my otherwise carefree life….longing to hold my own baby for 7 long years….God blessed me with my older daughter Akshu…just when I had lost all hopes….she was a miracle in disguise…literally!I was grateful to God for being kind to us….and thought our world was complete with her..We enjoyed showering her with all our love…accumulated over the years…she was the apple of the entire family.We were a content family! Then when we thought everything was going just the way we would have wanted it to….the arrival of another baby in the family was announced….the year was 2003.We were ecstatic….because we had never expected to be proud parents of two babies….we looked forward to completing our family….so to say.
Kittu was born on 11th Oct 2003 in Delhi…the doctor announced …its a girl! I was happy just to see her…nothing else registered.Saw a  fair and  plump baby in the doctors arms….I just smiled! My family was complete….then when I was just getting used to this fact….my happiness was shortlived…a pediatrician walked in.He informed me that there seemed to be a problem and they needed to do a few tests before telling us just exactly what.Another doctor walked in…checked my little ones palm n toes and walked away shaking his head…leaving me all puzzled and anxious.I kept wishing someone would tell me what was wrong.Then another one walked in and what he told me ,left me all shaken up…and I felt my little world coming crumbling down.My little soul might not be a ‘ normal child’.She may have difficulties with her milestones n may never be able to sit,stand,walk…..be like the other normal children….I didn’t know what hit me.I forgot all the pain I was in….gathered all my courage and guts and told him…”Letme handle this.”I wanted to break the news to my husband and family….and I did! God gave me the courage to face the situation and tell the eagerly waiting family outside the OT about Kittu.This is the time when the words from ‘FOOTPRINTS”came to my rescue….We have a baby here and she is diagonised with Down Syndrome . I had no clue what it was all about…all I knew was Kittu had arrived and we would do our best to prove the doctors wrong…how, we had no idea….but it was a promise we made to ourselves.Hence from here our lil one started her journey!!!!!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

New Down Syndrone Clinic opens at K.L.Raheja Hospital,Mumbai

Today was a new beginning for parents of down syndrome children in Mumbai.A ray of hope we can say….A new clinic opened in Raheja Hospital first of its kind, with commendable efforts from Dr. Rekha Ramachandran,the president of Mathru Mandir,a school n vocational centre for down syndrome kids exclusively, in Chennai and Dr. Uma Nambiar of Raheja Hospital.The clinic will operate on every Saturday,guiding parents with concerns ranging from health issues of their kids,schools n therapies they need to attend,whats new and any researches done in this field.Parents have formed a society of sorts which will meet to share their views n concerns,find solutions to common problems they share,once quarterly.
Dr.Ramachandran made a small powerpoint presentation about Trisomy 21 to create general awareness about this syndrome…problems and remedies.A few parents shared their experiences and the session was very interactive.The kids and parents also got a preview of the therapy rooms .Kids got to play a few games while the parents interacted with the specialist therapists.The session ended with a lot of dreams…n on a promising note.We were served some very delicious lunch comprising of mouth watering palak paneer,aloo dum,dal,some parathas n pulao….followed by gulab jamun…a delicacy for all those with a sweet tooth!

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