I fell in love with her immediately
My baby was so precious and I thought to myself: “I finally did it; I have a child to call my own.” For the next two weeks, almost every waking moment was spent with her in the hospital. We were finally able to bring her home, but we knew something wasn’t quite right. Three months later, I had to put her in day care and return to work, although I felt it wasn’t right of me to leave such a small child in someone else’s care.
Things changed dramatically when she was six months old
One day, someone at the day care noticed red spots on her body – she was treated for flu and cough before being discharged from the hospital after a week. But her symptoms persisted and two weeks later, she was re-admitted for six weeks and several tests were performed.
We were told she had some sort of respiratory illness but it wasn’t elaborated on – we only learnt she had pulmonary hypertension after a thoracic scan at IJN. This meant she would need to be on continuous oxygen support, and required the attention of respiratory and cardiac paediatric specialists.
We set up all the equipment in her room at home. After her next respiratory distress episode, we made the decision to finally move to another hospital – it was further but that centre had both the specialists she needed. We found an ambulance service provider to help with the many dashes to the emergency unit at all hours.
I figured money could buy me a heart and lungs in India
The doctors told us my baby would only survive if she underwent a lung and heart transplant. Places like Europe and the USA would prioritise their citizens, so we decided on India as our best shot at getting a match. I was so desperate – we consulted the doctors in India and arranged a special flight with medical attendance and support on standby. In between, we even took her to Singapore and sent her medical records to the USA for other specialists to review. She never grew old enough to make the trip.