A couple in India was forced to keep their premature baby in an icebox for five months in order to save his life because they had no other options. In October of last year, 34-year-old Aruna Chauhan gave birth to baby Mithilesh two months before his due date. He was a tiny 3 pounds 3 ounces at birth and was suffering from thyroid-related issues and prone to infection. He went straight to the Intensive Care Unit, where he should have stayed until he was well enough and strong enough to go home, but he was released 20 days later because Aruna and her husband Ramesh could not afford the mounting medical costs. They had borrowed as much money as they possibly could from friends and family and they had sought help from government run hospitals and charitable organizations, but nothing. So they took the baby home and put him in an ice chest for five months. What?!
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Aruna says, "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. 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." Unbelievable!
The couple set a timer to remove him from the box every couple of hours to check his temperature.
Can you imagine having to keep your infant in an ice box because you can't afford medical care? It's awful and I find it deplorable that the staff at Alliance Hospital where the baby was born, would release him when he was in no condition to go home.
The family's story was picked up by a local paper and Wadia Hospital for Children, in Parel, Mumbai are now providing medical aid to the child free of charge. Thank you!
Aruna and Ramesh were able to keep Mithilesh alive in that ice box, but he continues to need care as he is severely underweight. It is a miracle that child has survived under such difficult conditions.
And there are other miracle babies that keep inspiring us. Here are 17 miracle babies that will make you believe anything is possible! --Additional reporting by Michelle Regalado
Image via Corbis Images