Nikshila was born with a hole in her heart, had a cleft palate and severe hair-lip. The doctors had declared that there was no hope for the baby’s survival, leaving her distraught parents to take her home and tend to her as well as they could.
They kept Nikshila alive by keeping her clean and feeding her drops of milks, but it was an extremely agonising time for the family who did not like taking the child out of the house and hated having visitors. After a few months, they eventually took Nikshila to India in the hope of treatment, but again the family’s hopes were scuppered when doctors told them Nikshila wouldn’t survive a heart operation.
The family had heard about our partner organisation MENCAFEP, but didn’t believe she could be helped, until one day a representative visited their house, saw Nikshila and listened compassionately to the family’s story.
Soon after, the family heard news that a paediatric cardiologist from the UK would be visiting the region to treat children at a local hospital. He checked Nikshila and reassured the family that she was treatable, but the operation would cost them Rs. 700,000, or just under £4,000. Through selling off some land, support from MENCAFEP and family members, they raised the funds needed for the operation and subsequent treatment.
After the operation, MENCAFEP started on their regular home visits and began with basic exercises because Nikshila was unable to walk. Now her parents were very enthusiastic because for the first time, they believed that someone could help them.
Since then Nikshila has undergone further operations for the cleft palate through doctors in India, and the guidance and support of professionals at MENCAFEP. Her parents note that Nikshila is healthier, smarter and brighter and are hugely grateful for all the support they’ve received over the years.