Friday, 21 December 2012

Helping Baby Laasya Battle Squint and Cerebral Palsy

My daughter Laasya was diagnosed with Jaundice at birth. The jaundice was said to be at alarming levels, but she was treated in time and under proper medical supervision. But Laasya was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in her early development stages (below one year).

Thanks to my association with an NGO called PAWMENCAP , I was definitely moved  to start doing rigorous research on cerebral palsy conditions and most of all trying to pull the family together on accepting it first. This was a testing stage but I should thank many doctors who came along the way and helped us attain confidence.

 Cerebral Palsy is a special condition and this condition needs to be first identified and diagnosed properly. There is not just one stream of medicine and not just one sub stream of medicine that can make the life of the CP patient better. My experience has been that it is a collective effort and the parents play a very important role in pulling these efforts together.

Few of the people that I want to make a special mention here:
Dr. Patrick – Energy Healer
Dr. Michael Kokinos – Anthroposophy
Dr. Ramesh Kekunnaya - Head, Pediatric ophthalmology, Strabismus & Neuro ophthalmology , L V Prasad Eye Institute
Dr. Dhenuvakonda Sreeraama Murthy – Ayurvedic expert and a President’s award winner.
Ms Neeta, Dr Laxmi Prasanna - Sandeepani Healing & Curative Centre
Dr. Naveen – Head of Physiotherapy at NIMS.

Every experience has been a fulfilling one and has always taken us one step closer to giving a better life to Laasya, our child.

I would like to make a special mention  of Dr Ramesh Kekunnaya from L V Prasad Eye Institute for his efforts on one very critical element of the  entire 'healing cum curative' process - the eyes.
My child has Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, which results in balance coordination issues and tremors in muscles, and she was missing her developmental milestones.She also had squint , which is a result of  Cerebral Palsy. She was not able to get a perfect view of a subject, adding to  her troubles with “further resistance to achieving her developmental milestones”.

 Given our child's very tender age of less than two years, it was a very difficult decision to take; a muscle correction surgery with a success rate of 50% and in most cases - we were told - the surgery needs to be done twice or thrice.

It was very important for us to be educated on the success rate and recurrence of the condition; I must personally appreciate Dr. Ramesh Kekunnaya for having done a fantastic job of handling parent psychology with commendable ethical conduct of explaining the truth and not raising expectations but telling the truth; and of all things, handling the surgery successfully.
Maybe this is the specific reason the medical profession is still called a 'practice' in spite of  the success rates.

Laasya can now see objects, read properly, write with a little difficulty and recognize things. Our joy knew no bounds when post-surgery, Laasya identified the actor Mahesh Babu on a hoarding after watching a movie on TV and said “Mannatha babu!” as she could not pronounce that right.

Laasya still cannot walk but she stood 2nd in a class of 15 in the pre-primary that she has been going to for last few months. I cannot think of anything else but her ability to COMPREHEND purely due to the ability to see and repeat, thanks to the eye surgery. We haven’t been able to go back to the hospital due to the fear that Laasya has of seeing white gowns.  But she needs another surgery, and we will get that done soon.

The journey of successfully handling Laasya’s CP has been so fulfilling due to the good people around who give the right suggestions.  Personally, I am a fan of L V Prasad Eye Institute  which is doing such great service to the needy. My great grandmother was operated for cataract at 85  years of age and till her last breath, she did not need another surgery.

[The writer is Vinod Achanta, Laasya's father]

few photographs of Laasya -  pre and post surgery. 

A video of her being able to finally stand on her own.

Laasya’s latest photograph. 


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