THE baby girl born to the 11-year-old gangrape victim from Rajkot was sent back home on Tuesday after a panel of doctors from the pediatric surgery and the neurology department of civil hospital in Ahmedabad decided against performing surgery on the four-day-old baby.
The baby girl, who was born on March 17 at the civil hospital in Rajkot, was shifted to Ahmedabad on the same day because of a congenital defect called spina bifida, a condition in which her spine and spinal cord have failed to develop fully, leaving her paralysed and fighting for life.
“We ran detailed tests on her and have decided that a surgery in her case will make matters more difficult for her. The scans reveal that not just the spine but the damage has gone till the brain as well. The entire anatomy is disturbed and because of the complexity of the case, surgery is not advised,” said Dr Rakesh Joshi, who heads the Department of Pediatric Surgery at civil hospital at Asarwa in Ahmedabad.
Asked how long the infant will live, he said , “Not long but we cannot say. The skin covering the spine is thin and it can open up anytime, thus exposing her to various infections. She will need care and her spine will need dressing but the dressing might not protect her for long,” said Joshi.
The infant, who is under the care of two women constables – Sona Ranjit and Sejal Parmar – will be taken back to the Rajkot civil hospital, even though her fate remains unknown. “We don’t know how to react. We understand what the doctors say but are feeling bad that the child will not live long. We have been given instructions to bring her back to Rajkot. I guess the authorities will decide what to do with the infant and where to keep her,” said 23-year-old Sona Ranjit from Mahila police station, Rajkot.
A visibly upset Sejal, 22, stopped in between finishing the paper work and said, “We were really hoping that she would make it and get a family who will adopt her. But I guess now no one knows what will happen with the baby.”
Sona and Sejal have been with the infant since the time she was born. The infant’s 11-year-old mother, according to the police, was raped repeatedly by six people over the last eight to nine months. Police say five of the six accused are in judicial custody. The sixth accused, a 17-year-old, is in a juvenile detention facility.