35 per cent of her body weight was tumour. Five-year-old girl saved by Sion Hospital doctors

Abandoned by parents, teen brother rushes girl to hospital after she was wrongly treated by a quack

Vaishnavi (in centre) with her grandmother and brother, Sadashiv
Vaishnavi (in centre) with her grandmother and brother, Sadashiv

Abandoned by their parents, Sadashiv, 18, decided to take up responsibility of his five-year-old sister, Vaishnavi, after a quack branded her with hot iron to treat her complaints of severe stomach pain.

An alert and worried Sadashiv, a resident of Panvel, soon realised that there was something wrong with his sister which needed immediate medical attention. Sadashiv rushed his sister to Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General (Sion) Hospital.

According to doctors at Sion Hospital, Vaishnavi was accompanied by her brother and grandmother. When she reached the hospital, she had abdominal pain and a visible lump in stomach.

“Vaishnavi had stomach pain for last two and a half months. Her grandmother took her to a local doctor, who gave damma – an age-old practice in rural areas where it is believed that giving burn marks with sickle or iron object can cure stomach pain and complaints related to bloated stomach,” said Dr Paras Kothari, head of paediatric surgery department.

Kothari said CT scan and MRI revealed that Vaishnavi had Wilms tumour – a type of tumour which is generally found in kidney in children. Wilms tumour is noticed in approximately 0.8 cases per 1,00,000 persons.

“She weighed 10kg, of which three and a half kilo was tumour’s weight. We decided to operate her and removed tumour present in her left kidney. We were happy to see her brother taking her responsibility like a father. At 18, he is working hard so that his sister receives good treatment. We were amazed to see his commitment towards his sister,” said Kothari.

Vaishnavi is presently recovering in oncology department and may need to undergo a chemotherapy or radiation.

“Our parents left us a year or two back. We stay with our paternal grandmother. Vaishnavi is my life. She was in immense pain due to damma and there was a visible bulge in her stomach. Our relatives suggested I bring her to Sion hospital. I am happy that she is now free of pain. We are waiting to take her home,” said Sadashiv.