She has severe head injuries, the brain has suffered permanent damage, the arms are broken, the cheeks branded with hot iron, has had two cardiac arrests in the last three days and she is all of two.
The two-year-old, who is at the neurosurgery ICU of the AIIMS trauma centre, is on ventilator support and has had two cardiac arrests in the last three days. Ajay aggarwal / ht photo
Abandoned, with human-bite marks all over her body, the two-year-old is waging a lonely battle for life at the neurosurgery intensive care unit of the AIIMS trauma centre.
She was brought in on January 18 by a teenaged girl, who claimed to be her mother. The mobile phone number she gave is switched off. The address turned out to be a paying guest accommodation in southwest Delhi.
She told the hospital authorities that the baby, who flits in and out of consciousness and is on ventilator support, was injured in a fall from the bed.
The nature of injuries, which needed immediate surgery, doesn't back the claim.
“The injuries suggest that the baby was battered mercilessly, with her head smashed, probably against a wall,” said Dr Deepak Aggarwal, a neurosurgeon with the trauma centre.
The behaviour of the “mother” raised suspicion. “The girl didn't appear to be more than 15, and did not even know the baby's age,” said a social worker, who volunteers at the hospital. “She could not answer any of our queries about the baby satisfactorily,” said the volunteer, who didn't wish to be identified.
The hospital informed the police, who presented the girl to the child welfare committee. She has been sent to a juvenile home. The police have registered a case but have not been able to trace the baby's parents or family.
But she is not about to give up. “Despite her injuries, there is still a 50% chance of her survival,” said Dr Aggarwal.