“Sometimes Real-Super Hero’s live in the heart of Children ‘Fighting Big Battles’”
The cast of this story comprises of three important characters and they are
- Our Super Hero – Dev
- Supporting Actor: Dev’s dad – Atin
- Supporting Actress: Dev’s Mom – Poorna
An epic for us – Parenting the world’s best son, Dev
A story that transmuted us as parents and helped us dive into a world of positive thoughts.
October was in its best form, the festivity was just around the corner waiting as if it was waiting for the holy blessed soul to step in.
As would-be parents, we were extremely excited with each minute we were waiting with bated breath. When shall the time arrive and yes the cozy, warm, and tickling winter afternoon of October 15, 2005, had arrived?
It was this moment that God blessed us with the most auspicious blessing and our Super Hero, Dev stepped into our life with an abundance of joy and it then felt like we were born to hold him in our arms and start a new journey, a journey that transmuted us, our belief, our way to accept and look at life.
Both I and Poorna (my better half) were thrilled and nervous at the same time as we’re now parents.
The wait was finally over after those shaky moments and thought provoking times when Poona was wheeled to the Operation Theatre.
Just could not wait to hear what the white-aproned doctor walking towards me had to say – Is it a girl or a boy? He smiled and congratulated me, the new daddy – it was a spellbound moment for me and I did not know what to say.
She looked at me and quietly informed me that my child is born with complexity since the cord wound around his neck and he was born with oxygen deficiency and had to be rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) ASAP.
Did I hear that right? Birth Asphyxia (Oxygen deprivation) during birth. Now since that was a new term for me –I had no clear idea how to translate the complex term in a simple language but something struck my heart and I sort of skipped my beat.
Is my child ok? Was the foremost question in my mind.
Within minutes, I rushed to the spot with my sister and could see an ambulance which had Dev in it to the NICU location. The distance was merely 6-7 kiss, but for me, it seemed like years. Those 15-20 minutes were never-ending and felt like frozen moments of my life.
Immediately Dev was admitted to the ICU and the medical team started an investigation and began with the monitoring of his vitals. He was under strict observation and did get a neonatal seizure and was immediately put on medication.
The second day went on under the observation and on Day 3, he was diagnosed with neonatal Jaundice, the medical team led by a team of expert doctors started the treatment without any delay.
It was a matter of 14 days – Dev was discharged. India is a country of beliefs, religion and cultural haven was about to celebrate Diwali, the festival that celebrates the rerun of Lord Rama from his 14 years of exile. Here we had Dev who had gone through an exile of 14 days and yes he was now arriving home.
The house was filled with joy, everyone came to get a glimpse of our happiness and bless the little one with precious blessings. Life as it is beautifully described by many.
Poorna (my better half) started to observe a difference in Dev’s growth, reaching milestones, and also his way forward. We visited our pediatrician and he felt Dev was probably showing signs of delayed milestones and we must visit an occupational therapist. Which for a layman like us meant some physical exercises, and probably therapy will get things right and within few months Dev will be fine.
To our dismay, the Occupational therapist mentioned that Dev, our loving son has Cerebral Palsy and that too most severe kind.
What we were to do now, how to take the next step forward. Who to reach out to traumatized us, since we had never heard this word in our family or as we grew up – why Dev?
As said, fate cannot be changed and altered, we have to live by and go with the flow. Visiting Doctors, Neurologists, Occupational Therapists were now a part and parcel of our life.
As parents of a loving son, we never let any stone unturned and did arrange to visit international consultations and help. All these are supported by friends and family.
Suggestions and ideas do not cost money at all, we were advised of many ways out and someone even told us to plan for the next child.
Somehow a strong feeling cemented our thoughts and that was Dev has to stand on his own feet. Be confident, strong, and capable of making a decision.
We were truly blessed as most of our relatives, family members were supportive of our decision. It was a matter of life and even more important was how we are going to achieve this goal.
Right from Day 1, we were clear with our thoughts and goal, we started to imbibe positive feelings and approach to Dev, spoke to him about the importance of being happy.
How important is to be confident and believe in oneself. He was always supported by messages and life lessons that can make him strong and a confident individual.
The lullaby that his mum poorna sang lovingly read- Dev is a strong boy and will conquer every fear and fight and will emerge a winner.
We were opposed by the so-called society. The social stigma does at times do not have a way to react or behave. Why this why not that? Why him? Why did they look down on children with special abilities is a question unanswered.
It hurt us to see them behave as aliens but as rightly said’ Time is a great healer’, it is so true- with time Dev grew us strong and full of life. We learned well to ignore stranger’s and strange eyes.
A stroll with a dev to the movie theatre or a shopping arcade was a daily task for us. His first movie was “Chandni Chowk to China” and what a movie it was.
We had already learned our lesson that we shall not bow down against this indifferent attitude of Society and will strive to create an inclusive society.
One thing was clear with us – we will not let anything impact us – we knew what was happening and will continue to do what we thought was the right thing to do.
Apart from social interaction we also worked on his cognition and he responded well.
Dev was not able to speak at all, but as a smart kid he could easily respond, he could answer using gestures, and today we feel very happy that he is not going to a special school but a normal school.
He wants to become a pilot, his likes and dislikes were now evident. His love towards Hirik Roshan now marched ahead to Tiger Shroff
During the last 14 years, we have received support from some lovely people whom we did not know at all at first but are now our support line apart from our family. We offer our heartfelt gratitude to our family and friends who provided their unending support.
We have also learned a lot thru life experiences and through courses in the areas of movement therapy, Neuro reflexes, and Brain gym exercise, Feeding, and Speech from leading experts in their domains.
As we write today, a pandemic era we see life on earth has become still. Nothing seems to be moving in the right direction, but something caught our attention and we wanted to bring it to the world.
Our journeys far had so many challenges and threats. The Internet being a perfect medium has made us strongly believe that life can change and how and when we can depend on the circumstance we are in.
We both as a sensible and concerned parent would like to reach out to many other parents in the world who might have just stepped into life.
Parents through the internet medium to help them avoid mistakes which we had made in our journey with Dev.
Thanks for your patience. We have penned down our emotions and experiences for all those may who need inspiration from our journey.
Your true friends
Poorna & Atin
Specially abled Super Hero’s empowerer
‘Aashaayen Khile Dil Ki.
Ummeedein Hase Dil Ki
Ab Mushkil Nahi Kutch Bhi
Nahi Kutch Bhi’