A committee of doctors formed from the pediatric and the neurology department of Civil Hospital in Asarwa have decided against performing a surgery on the 4-day-old baby of an 11-year-old rape survivor from Gujarat’s Rajkot. The baby girl, who was born on March 17 at the Civil hospital in Rajkot, was shifted to Ahmedabad because of a congenital defect called spina bifida, a condition in which the spine and spinal cord fail to develop properly, leaving one paralysed and fighting for life.
“We ran detailed tests on her and have decided that a surgery 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, a surgery is not advised,” said Dr Rakesh Joshi, who heads the Department of Pediatric Surgery at Civil Hospital in Asarwa.
When asked how long the infant would live, Joshi said the chances of her survival was bleak. “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 it may not protect her for long,” the doctor said.
The infant, who is under the watchful and caring eyes of two young constables – Sona Ranjit and Sejal Parmar, will be taken back to the Rajkot Civil hospital, her fate 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 of Mahila Police station.
A visibly upset 22-year-old Sejal stopped in between finishing the paperwork 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 from 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 have said five of the six accused – Manji Javiya (67), Aravind Kubavat (52), Vijanand Maiyad (47), Vipul Chavda (40) and Govind Sakariya (60) – were in judicial custody. The sixth accused, a 17-year-old, is in a juvenile detention facility.