Ashvi Thada

Ashvi Thada was born in the village of Gujarat, India. Ashvi by birth was slightly unusual in her appearance. She was born with the left side unilateral complete cleft lip. Since the delivery of her mother, had been done at home only, the cleft caught the attention of parents and other relatives around immediately. People were surprised, as this was the first case of its kind in their nearby society. With lack of any substantial knowledge they started planting illogical stories of all kinds. Parents who were already in shock with the cleft of their daughter, started feeling more stressed by the behaviour of people. Moreover, Ashvi and her mother were already suffering from feeding problem. Parents were also concerned about the difficulties that may occur in future in her speech.

At this point, the parents decided to seek a medical opinion. Although it was a tough task for the family to seek a medical attention for their newly born child because of many

reasons. First, Ashvi’s father, Mr. Kishor Thada, is a labour worker and mother is a homemaker. Her father, Mr. Kishor Bhai Thada, is a sole earner of the family of four. The fourth member of family is Ashvi’s elder brother. All members apart from Ashvi were medically fit at the time of her birth. The nearest hospital from the village is around 300 Kms and with the annual income of less than Rs. 60,000/-, taking the newly born 300 kms away was highly expensive affair for the family. Second, Mr. Kishor also cannot afford to miss his daily wages as this would mean that they might have to miss a meal. Third, the parents did not get proper education in their times, Father studied till 7th standard while mother was in school till 6th standard only. This limits their understanding of the actual problem and beyond. They even do not own their own house be it house made of mud or a house made of bricks

The parents took Ashvi to a local medical officer at her maternal native place to get some kind of medical attention but, the advice did not meet their expectation. They got more confused having no clue what to do next. The officer inquired about the family history, any issues during pregnancy of her mother to get more insights but this was not helping. On the advice of relatives, they consulted in civil hospital as well. They were told get the operation done for the cleft. This has created another hurdle in the life of family as they have never witnessed such kind of treatment. Less income, lack of knowledge and no expertise around has already created enough mental trouble for parents.

At this stage our camp organizer found Ashvi with a cleft. Being an alien to the village and to the family, the manager found it very difficult to gain any kind trust of the family. However, the camp organizer was highly experienced in dealing such cases, eases down the situation and addressed all concerns of family and friends. Once he succeeded to convince both Mr. Kishore and Mrs. Illa, he briefed them about the treatment, its process and financial aspect. As policy, we ensured that the parents need not to spend a single rupee on the treatment or on the medicines of Ashvi. All they need to do is follow the medical instructions given by our doctors.

The family was brought to the Cleft centre. The family was happy to see the support and cooperation of the staff in the centre. They were more than please to get the much needed help. The surgery was done with utmost care and the cleft was no more visible to them. When parents saw Ashvi for the first time after the successful surgery, they burst into tears. Probably they were not expecting such a sight of their beloved one.

The family was thankful to the Medlife Foundation for their efforts even after the surgery as constant visits, check-ups and caring directions were communicated time to time. Parents are so happy now that they promised us to become a volunteer and help the centre in many ways especially if they come across any such case in their surroundings. After the surgery Ashvi’s parents also spread a word about the entire process they have gone through in their village and advised to get in our touch whenever any such problem occurs. There is no good sight better than seeing cheerful parents!!