Help has started pouring in for Amritsar’s nine-month-old Chahat — who at 19.2 kg is more than double the weight of babies at her age — a day after HT highlighted how the girl’s family is struggling to get treatment for her.
The Guru Nanak dev Hospital has offered to examine the child. “We will be visiting the hospital on Monday,” said Chahat’s father Suraj Kumar, who works at a cable operator shop.
“The child will be examined by our specialist. I have not seen such a case before. It could be anything. We will be able to comment only after the medical examination,” said Dr Avtar Singh Pannu, head of department, paediatrics, at GNDH.
“We will try to provide the best possible treatment to Chahat. Also, medicines, if needed, will be provided free of cost,” said medical superintendent Dr. Ram Saroop Sharma, medical superintendent, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital said,
Chahat weighed two kilograms at birth, slightly lower than normal for Indian babies. She started gaining weight at four months and now, at nine months, weighs 19.2 kg, when she should have been only around nine kilograms.
Dr Sandeep Aggarwal, a child specialist at a local civil hospital, who initially treated her before referring her to GNDH, said Chahat might be suffering from some hormonal problem or some kind of tumour.
Suraj Singh had told HT that he was finding it tough to meet the treatment expenses. “I earn about Rs 6, 000 a month, I have responsibility of seven members on me,” he said.
His wife Renu (23) is a housewife and takes care of the baby. “It is extremely difficult to pick her up. After the treatment, I hope I will be able to hold her in my arms,” says Renu. “She eats dal and rice, but no roti”, she added.
Chahat loves songs of Diljit Dosanjh. “She is a doll, people come to get pictures clicked with her but rarely anybody offers help. I hope things will change soon,” says Kaval, Chahat’s aunt.
Manjit Kaur, a neighbor, said, “She is really active. It is just that her weight is more than what it should be.”
Prof Devi Dayal, paediatric endocrinologist, PGIMER, said, “There is a high possibility that the child is suffering from a rare genetic disorder. There could be leptin hormone deficiency or issues with melanocartin receptor hormone.” He said these genetic tests are not available in the country. “There are hardly 4-5 labs in the world which conduct such tests. A cold blood (extracted DNA) sample will have to be sent to these laboratories to diagnose the actual problem,” the doctor said, adding that “once diagnosed, the problem can be cured.”