Niharika Chakraborty's History

Glancing the reminiscence track!
Niharika was born on 12 February 2012 at 10:16 hrs by vacuum delivery.  Whole family was happy at her birth.  The next day after birth, suddenly Niharika’s both palms and feet got bluish due to cold temperature in the post natal room in hospital and quickly she was admitted at NICU in Indian Naval Hospital Ashvini, Colaba  from where she was discharged after doing few blood tests which turned out insignificant.  
Second time, in the month of April (when she was 01 month of age) we again visited Ashvini Hospital due to irregular shape of  Niharika’s head that was bothering us; it was not round shaped.  Dr. Sheila Mathai (HOD Pediatrics) in Ashvini Hospital told us that it is very normal thing and  she has been seeing this in many new born babies but due to our unsatisfactory facial expressions, doctor suggest us to do a USG cranium test.
We rushed for the test and the results showed some neurological problem but no clear impression could be made.  Niharika cried a lot during the test and the technician was unable to conduct the test steadily, so the radiologist suggested us to go for an MRI scan (Brain) under general anesthesia. Again, Dr. Sheila Mathai told us after seeing the report that, “it is not advisable to do MRI Scan at this age because to anesthetize 1-month-old baby for the test purpose would be quite risky”.  She suggested that she will observe the child for any developmental delay and would go for MRI scan at age six months if required.
Niharika had no problems until age six months and she learned head holding and recognized her mother, etc.  We all were happy and began to doubt the USG cranium report.  Niharika came up with a new problem by the time she was age 7 months.  She started forgetting what she had learnt until now.  Her developmental milestones were getting reversed.
During those days, on September 13, 2012 we participated in a picnic organized by Navy at Tiku-Ji-Ni-Wadi in Thane. In that gathering, many of my colleagues observed Niharika and advised me to take her to some child specialist for further investigation.  We got really panicked and depressed and the very next day we visited senior pediatrician Dr. Paras Desai (pediatric consultant at Hinduja Hospital) at Colaba. He explained us that “it is a case of developmental delay and your child is lagging behind by 2 months of her age appropriate growth.  He immediately sent us for various higher tests to include blood tests, Brain MRI Scan, Chromosome test for fragile X etc.
Now we were depressed and awaiting results.  But we couldn’t sit quiet and do nothing until then; we again went to Ashvini Hospital for a second opinion from the HOD of pediatric department hoping to hear some better opinion.  She again ordered battery of tests including blood tests, Brain MRI Scan, EEG, Visual and Hearing Test (BERA in Nair Hospital) and ISCEV standard Flash VEP (in UBMI institute) and at the same time she gave an opinion that it could be Rett’s Syndrome (Neurological Disorder which reverses the development process).
Again in month of September 2012, we heard same kind of comment from another doctor and then it became clear to us that there is something really wrong with our child.  We felt “why this had to happen to our baby”.   My wife and me used to cry a lot in absence of each other and had gone into depression for a short period of time.  The environment at home had become sadistic and we had become pessimistic.  During this period, fortunately, our friends and relatives gave us hopes and boosted our morals.
We then gathered strength and decided not to give up in life and to face the problem together and our journey to search for the solution to our child’s problems began. We conducted all her prescribed tests and thankfully all results came normal except for MRI scan of brain.
The impression of MRI scan read:  Features of diffuse cerebral atrophy with paucity of white matter tracts & areas of altered signal intensity involving the right occipital gyri with volume loss suggestive of prenatal hypoxemic insult-periventricular leucomalacia.
In our next visit to Ashvini Hospital with all the related report and documents, it was concluded that it was not Rett’s Syndrome.  So the doctors suggested us to take Niharika to pediatric neurologist who can give better opinion regarding what to do next and also advised us to start with physiotherapy and stimulation which would help the child to improve in future.  
This did give us little hope that some therapy is going to help our child.  We   planned to visit Dr. Brajesh Udani (MD) in Saifee Hospital at Marines Lines on 08 Jan 2013. Doctor thoroughly checked Niharika and saw all her necessary reports and MRI Scan reports and explained us that, “During the prolonged labor using vacuum cap, her brain fell short of oxygen supply for few seconds in the periventricular area of the brain; this cannot be repaired nor will it worsen in future.  He added that, “there is nothing wrong about her mental health, her problem is motor skill problem in which she will not be able to sit, crawl and walk like any other normal child. She may become normal in future in about 2 to 3 years if we do physiotherapy and neurodevelopment therapy in correct manner by the professional physiotherapists.”  Dr. Udani started Niharika on syrup Biobaz 2.5 ml twice a day.

We made our minds to start physiotherapy for our child.  We were clueless now where to start from and what to do when one of my senior colleagues met me luck by chance and told me about Rajul Vasa Foundation and Vasa Concept.  He himself had a daughter with delayed milestones and was already taking treatment under Dr. Vasa since some time and his daughter had shown great improvement with it.

We were bothered about our child as she was about to complete one year and yet she had not begun to sit independently, crawl, stand or walk with support.  It is our observation that whenever we tried to forcefully put her into standing posture, she would make her body so stiff that even three people would struggle to put her in standing posture.
In the month of January 2013, we rushed to Dr. Rajul Vasa at Prempuri Ashram with great hopes for our baby.  There, we saw and heard from all parents about the miraculous changes happening in their children with Vasa Concept.  All these parents considered themselves to be very lucky to have got opportunity to benefit from Rajul Vasa Foundation.
On 22 February 2013 when Trupti madam sent us an e-mail to attend session on the coming Sunday, we became hopeful about the opportunity to join the family of Rajul Vasa Foundation.  
As a parent, it had been already imprinted in our mind that there is no cure for cerebral palsy! Yet how could we give up on our efforts.  We decided to work hard under the direction of Dr. Vasa. ‘Accept things in life as they come’ was amongst the lessons learnt in life and never till date I had accepted Niharika as a Challenge; Dr. Vasa made me realize that!  
She was not undergoing any physiotherapy and medicines on regular basis before we came to Dr. Vasa. We were lucky enough to have found Dr. Vasa for our child at such small age because we had seen on Dr. Vasa’s website how children with cerebral palsy worsen with growing age.  Because of the profession I am into, I do not believe in overnight miracles; all comes with patience, perseverance, hard work, and faith in God.
When we spoke to the other parents at the center, we realized that their children were doing the therapy for 5-6 hours a day. Dr. Vasa stresses upon the fact that we are dealing with brain and not with any organ like kidney or liver that one time therapy or treatment would be sufficient; In order to make the brain more reactive and develop postural control, we need to exercises for at least 5-6 hours every day.
Since the day we have been following Vasa Concept (Feb 2013), within a short span we have observed remarkable changes in Niharika. She has improvised in her head control, vision, trunk control, and her left hand which would remain tightly fisted all the time, now she is able to open by herself. The spasticity of her left hand has reduced to some extent without any medications. Niharika has become more expressive in her feeling and her responses are quick now. Due to change in the diet as suggested by Dr. Vasa, she has been relieved from her constipation problem and now readily opens her mouth to take feeds.  Previously, she never opened her mouth to take any feeds and we used to feed her forcefully all the time. She started sitting on floor for prolonged time and turning her head and neck around.  Previously, she used to fall behind when made to sit and somebody always needed to stay nearby her.  Now, she sits alone and nobody is required to stay around.  So now we get more time to do our personal work.  Also in her first year of life, we had to take Niharika to the GP 4-5 times for cough and cold problems; now her immunity has improved, breathing has improved and no cough or cold episodes since joining Dr. Vasa.
The intelligent Vasa Concept facilitates motor development through inlaying of postural control in brain and prevents spasticity from creeping in at all.  We could see changes in physical, physiological, and psychological status of Niharika within very short span with special diet advised by madam and tailor-made therapy program with profound mentoring by Dr. Vasa.
Dr. Vasa is our Hope, our God!    
Millions of best wishes from our heart to Dr. Rajul Vasa and Rajul Vasa Foundation; may God give her happiness and success in her goal to help in rehabilitation of cerebral palsy and stroke patients.

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