A grandfather in India came to the rescue of his newborn granddaughter recently after she was born with a rare skin condition and her parents abandoned her.
Parenting reports that the unnamed baby girl was born weighing less than 2 pounds and had wrinkly skin that made her look old. Her grandfather Dilip Dode told the Mirror that his son and daughter-in-law were embarrassed by their baby girl, and friends and relatives in their Indian village were afraid that they would catch a disease if they held her.
“When the baby was given to us, we were left shocked,” Dode said. “She did not have the usual features, and the word soon spread in the village. From our relatives to villagers, everyone gathered at our home to have a look at the baby. And when they got to see her, they ran away in fear.”
When his son and daughter-in-law refused to feed the baby girl, Dode stepped in. He began to feed her goat milk, but her condition did not improve, according to the article. Dode took the girl to Wadia Hospital in Mumbai where doctors said the baby was severely dehydrated.
Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala said the baby likely has a chromosomal abnormality that causes her skin to be very wrinkly, and an intrauterine growth restriction probably restricted her growth in the womb. She said the little girl’s condition is improving.
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“I am thankful to the hospital for giving free medical treatment to my granddaughter,” Dode told the Mirror. The hospital also is giving him a place to stay so that he can visit his granddaughter. The report states that the baby’s mother has not visited her in the hospital yet.
“It is really disheartening that even her parents have rejected her but I will go to any extent to save her,” her grandfather said.
Dode said he hopes that his son and daughter-in-law will have a change of heart and accept their daughter, but if they do not, he will raise her.
Dode told reporters that his son and daughter-in-law were not given any indication during their pregnancy check-ups that their baby may have a genetic disorder.
If they had learned of her condition before birth, one cannot help but wonder if they would have chosen to abort their daughter. Babies in the womb who have been diagnosed with various disorders, from Down syndrome or spina bifida to club feet or cleft lip, have been aborted. Some pro-life advocates also worry that new genetic screening tests could lead to more babies being aborted by couples in pursuit of a “perfect” child.
Because of the little girl’s grandfather, she has a life and a chance to grow and thrive.
“It is not her fault to have born different and I will not throw her [away] for this disease,” he said.
The baby’s story was first reported in June, and updates about the baby girl and her grandfather are not available.