With his tiny face peering out of a frilly, mint-coloured cap and frail body floating in an orange shirt, 21-day-old Divyanshu is a picture of innocence. But his family fondly calls him Don because he gave them the scare of a lifetime.
Two days after his birth at VN Desai Hospital in Santacruz, Divyanshu had had a cardiac arrest — his heart had stopped beating for a few seconds.
He was rushed to Bandra’s Holy Family Hospital, which has a neo-natal intensive care unit, and though he was “nearly dead” on admission, Divyanshu pulled through under expert care.
On April 9, his father Jagdish Devadiga (35), mother Sunita (33) and sister Divya (11) proudly carried Divyanshu to their one-room home in Jogeshwari’s Ramwadi chawl. “He has become a celebrity. People keep coming to see the baby who survived despite being so critical,” said Sunita.
She still shudders when she recalls the ordeal. On March 22, she had gone to a local gynaecologist after she had suffered a few episodes of bleeding. The doctor referred her to the BMC-run VN Desai Hospital where she was diagnosed with placenta previa, wherein the placenta is too low in the womb.
Sunita underwent an emergency caesarean section on March 23. Sunita and the baby lost a lot of blood due to the complication. Divyanshu weighed a normal 2 kg at birth but was severely anaemic and was having difficulty in breathing.
Over the next two days, Divyanshu was given blood transfusions and put on oxygen but his condition did not improve. “Late in the evening on March 25, the doctors told me that he was in the last stage and there was no hope,” said Devadiga. “I asked them if I could transfer him to another hospital but they said he would not make it.”
Determined to save his son, Devadiga, called up Dr Chetan Shetty, about whom he had read in a Kannada newspaper. Dr Shetty, a neonatologist, asked Devadiga to bring the child to Holy Family.
He hired a private ambulance from Criticare. En route, Divyanshu’s heart stopped beating twice. “The Criticare doctor tried to revive him by giving him oxygen,” said Devadiga.
By the time the ambulance reached Holy Family, Divyanshu was gasping. Dr Shetty said: “His pupils were semi-dilated but I was not confident that he would survive.”
Divyanshu was given drugs to improve his heart function — his heart rate was 40 beats per minute instead of the normal 150 — and put on ventilator in the NICU. “After four days, we started feeding him through a tube and on April 6, he was moved to the general ward,” said Dr Shetty.
Devadiga, who runs a paan shop, said, “We have waited 11 years for a second child. I am thrilled my daughter has a little brother to play with.”