Unable to pay their hospital bills anymore, parents kept their premature baby alive by keeping him in an ice chest. In October 2013, Aruna Chauhan gave birth to her son, Mithilesh, two months early at a hospital in Mubai, India. At birth, the baby reportedly weighed only 3 pounds, 3 ounces, and was in need of constant monitoring due to the fact that he was prone to infections. But eventually, Aruna and her husband, Ramseh, ran out of money and could no longer afford to keep their baby in the hospital.
So, at the advice of a physician, they kept him in an ice chest.
"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," Aruna said. "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." Aruna and Ramseh followed the doctor's instructions and took the baby out every two hours to take his temperature.
"It was awful," Aruna said. "We had no idea if it was the right thing to do, but we had to try something. We were terrified if we did nothing, he'd die, but we were also aware that what we were doing wasn't exactly safe either. It was a very distressing time."
Heartbreaking. Could you imagine? As parents, we always want to do the best thing for our children, but it's easy to see how keeping your infant in a box would make one question things! Ugh, not knowing if they were doing the right thing had to have been excruciating for Aruna and Ramseh -- especially since Mithilesh was in the ice chest for five months.
In the end, it turned out it was the right decision for their particular situation. Mithilesh survived after living in the icebox for almost half a year, but he remained severely underweight. The baby is now reportedly receiving 24-hour medical care at the Wadia Hospital for Children, who heard about his condition and offered to treat him for free.
Hopefully, everything will be okay, and Mithilesh's parents will soon be able to snuggle him in their arms. What a little fighter.
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Image via Nina Matthews/Flickr