BANGALORE: “We are leaving my daughter Mariyam’s fate to God as there has been no response from any of the authorities, including the Chief Minister’s Office,” said Mohammed Muddasir, Mariyam’s father.
Ever since Mariyam slipped into a coma after alleged negligence on the part of doctors treating her at Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in the city, Muddasir and other members of the family have hardly slept. Sitting next to a cot where the 3-year-old, who is now almost reduced to a vegetative state, lies, the family members talk about the good times the little girl spent at home and how everything went horribly wrong after she was taken to the hospital to treat her fractured hand, in December 2013.
“The baby last spoke at 8.30am on December 16 and since then she has been comatose,” said Muddasir, sitting next to his daughter at their rented house in Hosakote, around 40 km from Bangalore. The family had sold their house in Gurappanapalya for Mariyam’s treatment and had to shift to a rented accommodation.
The mother who spends maximum time with Mariyam wakes every two hours in the night as the baby has to be fed every three hours. “The liquid diet of 130ml is fed through a tube and each time the baby is fed the tears roll down from the mother’s cheeks,” said a relative.
The family has converted a room at home into a ‘special ward’ with an oxygen cylinder, nebulizer, blood pressure controller, suction machine (used to take out the phlegm accumulated in chest) and other medical paraphernalia.
“Mariam has to be given five types of syrups and tablets. The doctors have advised us to change her position frequently. We use an air bed to make her comfortable,” said Muddasir.
Muddasir said that after getting a second opinion and a report from Manipal Hospital about hypoxia (injury to brain and less supply of oxygen to brain) following medical negligence at the Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Trauma & Orthopaedic, Mariyam was shifted to Manipal Hospital.
On August 29, Mariyam was discharged as the family could not afford hospital treatment.
“As we could not afford paying `30,000 to 40,000 per month for a special nurse, we were trained in home care,” said Muddasir, an air-condition mechanic. “We have to take Mariyam to Manipal Hospital once in 10 days,” he said.
‘Need Action Against the Erring Doc’
Mariyam’s uncle B S Rafiulla said that after Mariyam’s case made national headlines, the government was forced to take some action: The anaesthestist was suspended.
“The response from the state government and other stakeholders is not satisfactory. The baby is in bad shape and the doctor who was responsible for her present condition is back on duty. The government said it will give `2 lakh to the family. How can money be a compensation for what the family is going through,” he asked.
What Child Rights Panel says
Umesh Aradhya, chaiperson, State Child Rights Commission, who initially summoned the doctors involved in the case, said, “The doctors deposed before the commission. All claimed innocence. Their statements were recorded and a report was sent to the health department suggesting setting up a probe panel. But there has been no response from the government. It is four months since the Commission wrote to the government.”
Will Seek Report, Says Khader
Health Minister U T Khader said the Child Rights Commission’s letter to the department has not come to his notice.
“Now that I am aware of it, I will speak to the health secretary and seek the Commission’s report. We will go by the Commission’s recommendations,” he said.