There are 353,000 babies born every day. Some of them come into the world perfectly healthy, while others are born with difficulties and challenges. Parents will do anything for their children, so when their baby is born needing medical attention, moms and dads immediately enlist any physicians, surgeons, and specialists that will give their newborn the best chance possible for a long and happy life. In many cases, specialized care and treatment can be a financial burden on a family but what happens when the family is already living in poverty?
It’s a heartwrenching thought, but it happens every day across the globe. Srey and Heang Neath are dealing with the tremendous stresses that come along with having a baby born with a rare and life-threatening condition.
Srey gave birth to a daughter Ah back in February. Ah was born severely deformed, missing have her skull. Doctors in eastern Cambodia believe her condition was caused by anencephaly. According to the CDC, anencephaly “happens if the upper part of the neural tube does not close all the way. This often results in a baby being born without the front part of the brain (forebrain) and the thinking and coordinating part of the brain (cerebrum). The remaining parts of the brain are often not covered by bone or skin.”
Sadly, the Mayo Clinic states that babies born with anencephaly commonly are stillborn or survive only a few hours to days after birth. There is no cure for anencephaly, there is only treatment that “aims at making the baby as comfortable as possible.”
That treatment is lifesaving, but extremely costly and her parents are struggling to come up with a way to pay for it.
Ah was also born with part of her skull jutting out the back of her head. She remained in the hospital for two months following her birth but has since been discharged and is now living with a family in the Ponhea Kraek District of Cambodia. Without treatment, Ah is not expected to live much longer.
Head to the next page to see Srey’s plea for her daughter…