As my grandkids entered the world, the news of their mother’s death made its way to our ears. Twenty days later, they lost their dad and we, our son
“It was tragedy after tragedy for us”
When I first heard her screams during midnight, my first instinct was to check whether her schizophrenia tablets have been taken. When I went to check on her, she was sobbing and she kept repeating that our son had died.
Her schizophrenia made me disregard most of her babbles on a daily basis, I consoled her and told her that everything is going to be okay before putting her to bed. Little did I know that my wife was actually not babbling for once.
After my daughter-in-law passed away due to birth complications, I knew that my son was devastated. But never did I imagine that the heartbreak would lead to his demise. My son was very much in love with his wife.
After their marriage in 2012, he did not spend a day apart from her
Their journey to parenthood was filled with happiness. My son and his wife spent days thinking of the perfect name while my wife started making tiny clothes for the arrival of our grandkids.
Arushi poses for a picture with her best friend, her twin brother
When they finally made their way into our lives, our joy knew no bounds. We were blessed with twins; a boy and a girl! But our joy was short-lived as we heard the news of our daughter-in-law passing away due to birth complications.
We had to be strong for our son, for we saw him crumble right in front of us, his wife’s death was something he refused to believe. He was in denial for a week before he even let the news sink in. The harsh reality of her death served as the final blow for our son.
“We became parents in our 70s”
Arushi’s grandparents find ways to keep her amused
Overnight, the twins became our responsibility. At 78, I became busy trying to give parenthood another shot while struggling to cope with my asthma. While I was struggling to do justice to parenthood, my wife at 70, was battling schizophrenia.
The twins are a handful
Between taking care of the twins and being there for her, my physical and mental health couldn’t keep up. My ex-police inspector pension of Rs 20,000 was definitely not enough to fend for the whole household. Whenever my finances started to pinch, my second son often helped out.
Arushi’s grandma sings Arushi to sleep
We chose to name the twins Avinash and Arushi, after their parents. While Avinash grew up to be a healthy kid, Arushi was always the weaker one. She would sleep less, eat less and she wasn’t half as active as Avinash.
“We despaired as Arushi struggled to walk”
When their uncle came to visit the twins, he noticed that Arushi’s legs were bent abnormally. On taking her to the hospital, she was diagnosed with congenital pseudarthrosis of tibia at the age of 1. It is a rare condition; found in 1 out of every 2,50,000 births.
Arushi’s rare smile after wailing endlessly in pain
This basically meant that if Arushi doesn’t have an operation to fix her condition, she will never be able to walk again for the bone in her right leg had cracked. The bone was too weak to grow back by itself.
“How do I fund her leg surgery on my retirement pension?”
Our finances looked so bleak that we couldn’t even afford to dream of Rs 16 lakhs for her surgery, including preoperative and post-operative care. Instead, we continued to take her to the hospital and provide her whatever medication we could afford. My wife, son and I continued to visit countless trusts and organizations in the hope that they will be able to give a chance for our Arushi to walk but to no avail - before we knew it, 1.5 years had passed.
At 2.5 years, Arushi still dreams of walking
Now our Arushi is 2.5 years old and she still yearns to walk. She’s extremely attached to her younger brother and gazes at him longingly as he walks. As their granddad, I want to be able to make sure that our Arushi grows up to be an independent woman, the first step towards which will need for her to be able to walk.
Arushi’s grandparents hope to always keep her happy and joyous
How You Can Help:
After having lost their mother to birth complications, these twin babies held on dearly to their father just to see fate cruelly snatch him away from them a couple of days later. Orphaned at 20 days, their ailing grandparents came to their rescue. Avinash and Arushi are now 2.5 years old. Their asthmatic grandad have been taking care of them for the most parts as their grandmother is schizophrenic. Arushi was diagnosed with congenital pseudarthrosis of tibia at the age of 1, ever since then their grandparents have been trying to raise funds for her leg surgery costing Rs 16 lakhs (including preoperative and post-operative care) and now at 2.5 years, she might never get the chance to walk again without the surgery.