Shery and Varun Daroch are looking on fondly at Naysa, their tiny two-year-old, as she comfortably moves around the waiting room when I walk in. For a tiny thing, she’s got a strong, decisive voice, and I think as the nurses’ fawn over her and she flits from mother to father to nurse.
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“What’s your birth story,” I ask Shery and Varun. Shery looks me dead in the eye and says Naysa was born at 23 weeks. What? “It was a perfectly normal pregnancy when one night I started to feel uncomfortable for some reason. Everyone in my family said it’s ok, it would pass, but I insisted on seeing my doctor,” Shery says. It started in her 20th week, right after her 18th-week scan, when the doctor diagnosed her with a short cervix. She was advised four weeks of bed rest. “At that time, I didn’t think it was going to be a huge problem. ”
With her regular gynaecologist travelling, when Shery started to feel cramps in week 24, she went directly to Cloudnine on Old Airport Road, Bangalore, where she met Dr. Praveena Shenoi. “The doctor told me I was in labor and I didn’t know how to react. I was just barely past my halfway mark,” says Shery.
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Long story short, Naysa was born at 580 gms. (way below anything that can be considered safe for delivery) at 24 weeks and 5 days. “She was so incredibly small. The doctor told me to consider this an abortion because the baby may not survive considering how early she was born,” Shery says, tearing up. If the child survived for three hours, then they would watch her for the rest of the night in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); otherwise, Shery was advised to consider it an abortion.
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But Naysa was one of those destined to survive, a fighter from the very first breath she drew into her tiny, little body. She survived three hours, and then she survived the night. And was considered a miracle by everyone who came in contact with her.
“I was told from the very beginning that this could go either way. No one at the hospital gave me false hopes about her survival or what we would have to go through if she survived,” Shery says. Naysa was in the Cloudnine NICU for 3 months. And every day Shery and Varun came to be with her. “That was probably the toughest part, and yet it was made easier because of the immense support we got from the hospital staff and my doctors,” says Shery adding that the entire Cloudnine team left no stone unturned in making sure the couple was at their most prepared and most cared for.
“From being physically comfortable and healthy to being counselled every step of the way, my doctors, and their team were a godsend to me. My father is a paediatrician and the three months that Naysa was in the NICU, not once did the doctors refuse to collaborate with him so that we could have a greater understanding of our situation. My father would call Dr. Arvind Shenoi (paediatrician) almost every day to consult with him at every step to understand what needed to be done,” Shery says. “I wouldn’t trust a single other doctor or hospital to do what Cloudnine has done for us.
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Shery chokes up while telling the story regularly. So when I ask Varun about his views, I am in for a shock. His face has a smile, absolutely no words, and eyes overflowing with tears. “Without the team of doctors here, I don’t think we would have made it, no matter how many fights Naysa had in her. ”And that tells me everything I need to know.
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