(Sweety Makwana, 31, is a single mother based in Sydney and a winner of “Indian Link – Mother of the Year 2013” Award for her Mission Twisha to save her only daughter.)
Twisha looks like a happy and cheerful three-year-old girl. But my daughter suffers from a very rare birth defect – LGOA (Long-Gap Oesophageal Atresia). In layman’s terms, it means Twisha was born with an incomplete esophagus (food pipe), hence she cannot eat/swallow anything.
Her tiny fragile body has undergone 20 surgeries in Sydney to cure her condition but unfortunately, all were unsuccessful. Presently, there is a hole in Twisha’s stomach through which we inject formula milk directly into her digestive system to keep Twisha alive. There is another hole on the right side of Twisha’s chest to manage her secretion. The poor child goes through painful dilation every second day.
While doctors have offered alternative and less expensive treatments (such as Gastric Pull Up, Colon Interposition, and Gastric Tube) for Twisha in Australia and in India, these could damage Twisha’s other body organs such as her stomach or colon, which could cause long-term serious medical complications.
Medical science accepts that, “Repair of native esophagus is the best rather than replacement.” Foker Treatment in Boston, USA can help Twisha to get her esophagus repaired.
In the Foker procedure, doctors stimulate the growth of the oesophagus by traction sutures. The baby is kept sedated and paralysed for a couple of weeks/months. When both the ends of Oesophagus have grown sufficiently, they are sewn together. The cost of this procedure at Boston Children’s Hospital is a whopping US$1.2 million. So far, I have managed to raise US$550,000 in the past two years.
My heart dies every minute I see those holes on Twisha’s tiny tender body, I see her crying when she gets fed via a tube. I see other children going to school and playing in parks. I want that for my child. Twisha wants to eat her favourite chips but the fear of choking means she can’t.
Ronnie Screwvala, the famous Bollywood film-maker, has donated generously for Twisha. Rs. 3.5 crore has been raised, yet another Rs. 4 crore is needed. Every cent counts.. Every prayer counts.
To donate visit http://www.twishamakwana.com/Donation.aspx
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