A case study of birth defect (Tumor on the side of head)


P 32 years old second gravida delivered a male child who weighed 2075 grams at birth. The child was born after 15 years of her previous pregnancy. This was a very precious child. Her first ultrasound was reported as normal but the second ultrasound showed that the baby had a tumor in the neck. It was too late at this time to interrupt pregnancy. The family was very nervous when she reported to SWACH counsellor. With support she continued with her pregnancy. She delivered normally a male child. At the time of her delivery a large tumor was noted in the side of her head. The baby was referred to a tertiary hospital (Post Graduate Institute of Medical education and Research Chandigarh) The baby was assessed and the family was asked to come back after 4 to 5 months after a satisfactory increase of baby weight. Relatives and villagers were very curious and they passed adverse comments about the problem and expressed sympathy which lead to depression, and despondency in the family. However the family kept on talking to the SWACH staff on an ongoing basis. They were reassured and supported by the counsellors. Despite her depression, with support she was able to breast feed the child. She also completed all the vaccinations and looked after her child well. When the weight of the child was 6.5 kg an operation was done at PGI The surgery was successful and the child was discharged after 6 days of operation. At 7 months semi solid foods were introduced under the guidance of SWACH counsellor. The weight increased to 7.5 kg at the age of 9 months. Growth monitoring through repeated weight monitoring has been done.

Her husband is a daily wage earner but looked after the child very well. Even though the family remained depressed for many months until surgery was done they were supported in an ongoing manner and were able to bring up the child. They had lots of difficulty in making the financial arrangements for meeting medical expenses.

After the age of one year the child made a steady progress since the staff from SWACH supported healthy child development where the feeding advice was complimented with play and communication. Mild illnesses were managed conservatively ensuring that feeding is not interrupted during illness and the child is loved and supported during the illness. The child made good progress in achieving the milestones and was sent to school at 3 years age. At 4 years and 5 months he is doing very well at school and is considered an intelligent child.

The family is extremely greatful to their religious guru and have given the name Gurditta (means gift of ‘Guru’) to their son. They were very happy and have been able to overcome their depression through active engagement in child care.

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