She's a living example of the never-say-die spirit, literally. After almost six weeks of a brave fight, the battered two-year-old baby at the AIIMS trauma centre has recovered enough to be moved out of ICU, her home since January 18.
Breathing for the first time without a ventilator for four consecutive days, the baby has been shifted into a ward and is almost fit to be discharged."She is a lot better now. We didn't want her to get ICU-related infection, so moved her into the high-dependency unit in the neurosurgery ward. She is also off medicines and only on vitamins," said Dr Deepak Aggarwal, neurosurgeon at the hospital.
"Initially, she would be fed by tube. She has improved enough to be discharged in a few days," he said.
The baby was brought to the trauma centre on January 18 by a 14-year-old girl claiming to be her mother. She had severe head injuries, broken arms and human bite marks.
Her story was first reported by Hindustan Times on January 26 and followed by the media across the country.
The baby is now opening her eyes and moving her limbs more frequently and longer. Her neurological condition too has improved significantly and the infection in the brain, lungs and blood has subsided.
"For a two-year-old, she has started responding well. We weren't hopeful initially that she would recover so much. Now she would require intense physiotherapy and rehabilitation," said Dr MC Misra, chief of the AIIMS trauma centre.
The baby underwent five life-saving surgeries, including a shunt surgery to create a permanent passage to drain out the water accumulating in her brain.
Moved by the baby's plight, many Indians as well as people abroad had approached AIIMS with a wish to adopt her after she recovered.
"Adoption is a legal process and the child has to be legally free for adoption. No one can jump the legal protocol," said Rajmangal Prasad, chairperson, child welfare committee.
"It will matter whether those getting her custody are in a position to look after her, given her medical condition," he said.