In our stories about the little hearts we've saved you've probably come across a paragraph that cites the income of the father, who is often the sole breadwinner of the family, with often not just his wife and children, but also his parents dependent on the small income he brings home each month. When one of his children is seriously ill therefore, it is often the father in most of the scenarios who is under the strain of raising the monumental amount involved in getting a corrective surgery for CHD to Save Little Hearts. With Father's Day coming up, we thought we'd talk to a few fathers of the little hearts we've saved to know what lies behind the statistic of the income we put into each story.
First, let's meet the children of these fathers.
How did you feel the day your child was born?
We started with a rather obvious question, Rindhya's father, Ravi, Mohini Mistry's father, Gulab, as well as Kirthisri and her father Ramamoorthy, all responded that they were overjoyed when their daughter was born.
Had you ever heard of CHD?
All the fathers replied in the negative.
Gulab said that he was thrown into utter confusion when he heard that Mohini had CHD, and that he had no idea that it could be cured.
Ravi frankly admitted that when he heard that his daughter had CHD he could not help but cry, because he was so afraid as to what it meant for his daughter.
Kirthisri's father said that since she had to undergo surgery so early in her life, he did not even get to celebrate her birth fully since he was thrown into such a panic when he heard the term CHD for the first time.
What would you say to parents who have a child with CHD?
Gulab said it was most important to keep in touch with the doctor and have continuous follow ups.
Ravi wanted parents to know that CHD is curable and should not be neglected. The child should be taken to a good doctor.
Ramamoorthy also voiced similar sentiments and additionally wanted parents from lesser privileged backgrounds to know that there were foundations that could support their child's surgery in case parents were afraid of the cost involved.
What is your favourite memory with your child?
Gulab and Ravi were unanimous in their answer that the day their little girls went to school for the first time is their favourite memory.
Genesis Foundation, where we support little hearts childcare, is so proud we work to Save Little Hearts who have such supportive parents who believe in educating their children to the best of their abilities.
Ramamoorthy, whose daughter is still young, says celebrating her first birthday was one of his favourite memories with his daughter.
What do you think is the role of the father in a child's life, especially when the child is unwell?
Gulab said that especially in the case of underprivileged families both the father and mother have an important role to play, since while the mother is often the caregiver, the father has to ensure that he is earning enough to take good care of his family.
Ravi said that both father and mother have an equally important role to play, and talks of how difficult it was since he could not be in the hospital with his daughter since he had to earn a living as well as take care of his elder son, while his wife remained at the hospital with her.
Ramamoorthy, talked of how in the case of an unwell child both the parents must pitch in to take care of the baby, and that they should not expect the mother to take that burden alone!
We were moved by the insight provided by these fathers and how they understand and recognise the need to share their responsibilities when it comes to little hearts childcare.
Wishing all the fathers who work so hard to ensure that their children get everything they need and more a very Happy Father's Day. We are so happy we got a chance to save your little precious heart!
- Contributed by Ranjini Nair, Content Writer, Genesis Foundation