Parents Save Preemie’s Life By Keeping Him in Homemade Incubator for 5 Months
When Aruna and Ramseh Chauhan could no longer afford to keep their premature baby boy in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU), they didn’t know what to do.
The new parents happily welcomed their son Mithilesh, in October 2013. Since he was born 2 months premature, and weighed a mere 3 pounds 3 ounces, the couple new that he would need extra care.
But after a month at Alliance Hospital in Mumbai, India, Mithilesh still needed constant monitoring and around-the-clock care, as he was prone to infections.
He stayed in the ICU for 20 days before his parents could no longer afford to keep him in the hospital. They had already exhausted all of their financial resources, reaching out to as many relatives as they could.
The new parents claim that they tried reaching out to government-run hospitals, but the ICU waiting lists were reportedly way too long.
At that point, the Chauhans had completely run out of options. So, when one doctor told them of an alternative solution, they decided they’d give anything a try.
“One doctor told us that if we couldn’t afford to keep our baby in hospital we should try a Thermocol icebox with holes for ventilation and a 60-watt bulb to provide the right amount of warmth,” Aruna Chauhan, 34, told Cover Asia Press. “He advised it was better than nothing and might save our baby. My husband bought the box from a nearby fish market and cut holes in it.”
Aruna and Ramseh said that they took their newborn out every 2 hours to check his temperature and make sure the baby was all right.
Aruna told Cover Asia Press, “It was awful,” adding, “We had no idea if it was the right thing to do, but we had to try something. We were terrified if we did nothing he’d die, but we were also aware that what we were doing wasn’t exactly safe either. It was a very distressing time.”
Mithilesh survived after allegedly spending 5 months in the makeshift incubator. But even though the baby had pulled through, he still remained severely underweight for his age.
After hearing about the newborn’s condition, Wadia Hospital for Children offered to treat him for free, and he is now receiving 24-hour medical care.
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