Mother's Milk Flown From Leh to Delhi For Hospitalised Newborn

The generosity of a private airline and some kind passengers has made this possible.

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For the past one month, the Delhi international airport has had two regular visitors - 33-year-old Jikmet Wangdus and his brother-in-law. Both men have been visiting the airport everyday to collect a special package that comes all the way from Leh. This package has seven containers inside, each carrying the breast milk of Wangdu's wife which will be fed to the couple's newborn baby who recently underwent a complicated surgery in Delhi.

According to a report by news agency PTI, Wangdus and his wife Dorjey Palmo gave birth to a baby boy, Rigzin Wangchuk, on 16 June.

The baby was born through a C-section surgery at the Sonam Nurboo Memorial Hospital in Leh. However, soon the couple realised that something was wrong as the baby was unable to suckle.

Wangdus was not in Leh when this news reached him; he was in Mysore where he works at an educational institute. Wangdus immediately took the advice of family friends, who were also doctors, and decided to bring the child to Delhi for a consult. Wangdus' wife's brother Jigmat Gyalpo flew down with the baby on 18 June. Wangdus also flew from Mysore and arrived on the same morning.

Upon landing in Delhi, the baby was admitted in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) of Max hospital, Shalimar Bagh. Once there, the baby was diagnosed with tracheoesophageal fistula with oesophagal atresia - a condition in which the child's food pipe and trachea are connected, making it difficult to feed. The baby also had a respiratory infection when he reached the hospital.

A complex three-hour surgery was followed by 3 days in the NICU where the baby was fed through the nose via tube.

It's then that the doctor suggested that it would be beneficial for the baby to get access to his mother's milk.

Unfortunately, the COVID situation made it difficult for the mother to travel from Leh to Delhi but somehow Wangdus figured out a way to get the mother's milk transported for the baby.

So far, a private airline and some "good-hearted passengers" have been generous enough to help carry the milk free of cost.

While this routine has kept things going, Wangdus, his brother-in-law and the baby are looking forward to returning to Leh soon.

(With inputs from PTI)

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