A good samaritan from Kochi has been providing motherly care to a six-month-old baby boy for a month after his parents tested positive for COVID-19. A clinical psychologist, Dr Mary Anitha has been taking good care of the little one when his parents, hailing from Ernakulam district, underwent treatment for COVID-19 last month. Both his parents are nurses at a healthcare facility in Gurgaon. Last month, soon after his father tested positive for COVID-19, a worried mother returned with the newborn to Kerala.
After reaching her home in Kochi, the mother had to be in quarantine and later she was too tested positive. Fearing that the six-month-old may also catch the infection, his mother urged relatives to take care of him, but no one showed up. Having no options left, the district child welfare committee asked Mary to look after the baby until his parents were discharged. “On June 14, the child welfare committee approached me… By the time the issue reached me, the baby had lived with his mother for several days after she tested positive and his chances of getting infected were very high,” said the 48-year-old doctor who runs an organisation for differently-abled children in Kochi, Indian Express reported.
Mary has been providing food packets for street dwellers, migrant workers and the policemen on duty during the entire lockdown period. Supported by young volunteers, Mary has founded the Centre For Empowerment and Enrichment in 2007.
What You Should Know
- Kerala doctor Mary Anitha has been taking care of a six-month-old baby boy for a month after his parents tested positive for COVID-19.
- From June 15 onward, the baby was staying along with Mary in a separate ward in a Kochi-based hospital. They shifted to a rented flat in the city after the baby tested negative, twice.
- The hospital authorities and child welfare handed over the baby to Mary who has three children of her own.
When the doctors of a Kochi-based hospital, where the baby’s mother was undergoing treatment, approached her, the very compassionate Mary immediately offered to help. “I discussed the issue with my family only after expressing my willingness to take care of the baby.’’
How Mary became an adoptive mother
Mary and the baby went into isolation on June 15 in a separate ward in the same hospital. On June 19th, after the second test was conducted for the baby and the result of the test was declared negative. On June 22 Mary rented an apartment in the city to take care of the child in isolation. Her three children took turns in bringing them food and necessities. According to a report by Times Now, “On the 12th of June, the mother was tested COVID-19 positive wherein the six-month year old was tested negative. However, the baby was breastfed for three more days and the mother was moved to a separate COVID ward.”
After the second test of the baby also came out negative, Mary explained, “The only close relatives were his grandparents who were already aged and are looking after his elder sister, the Child welfare committee was looking for various options as it would be a risky job if handed to grandparents. It is at this juncture I came to know about the matter and decided to request his parents to look after him. I spoke to his mother through the hospital authorities and assured her of the baby’s safety, and she was more than happy as she trusted me. However, she and her husband had to give an affidavit stating their will. Meanwhile, hospital authorities were in a fix as this was the first such case that was reported”, the report added.
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Talking about the baby’s condition, Mary said, “He is now comfortable with me and does not cry for his parents,” The News Minute reported. She also added that he only drinks boiled milk and formula food as he has no access to breast milk anymore.
Reportedly, after taking care of the child for a month, Mary handed over the boy to her parents on Wednesday. His mother and father are now risk-free after completing their home quarantine after being discharged.
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Feature Image Credit: PTI