A two-month-old Indian baby girl was branded with a hot knife by a local healer attempting to cure her pneumonia. Unknown to the healer, the little baby had a hole in the heart.
Shivani Seheriya had caught the life-threatening infection last month and in desperation, her poverty-stricken mother turned to her village tantric, a traditional therapist used in rural India, for help. He then burnt the child's abdomen with the hot knife over 40 times, convinced it would cure her illness.
The mother, Somvati Seheriya, 22, had lost her first daughter to pneumonia a year earlier, after she had refused to take the little girl to see the healer at the time.
This time, she was convinced he could cure her newborn baby of the same ailment. Mrs Seheriya and her husband Giru, 23, from Sheopur, in Madhya Pradesh, central India, took baby Shivani to the healer on December 2nd.
That was when the healer, in his usual practice, cut the little baby's tummy with a hot knife that was supposed to chase out the cold causing the pnemonia.
However, Shivani's situation only got worse. After she returned home she developed severe fever.
Desperately worried, Mrs Seheriya and her husband then rushed Shivani to the district government hospital.
It was here, while treating her for the burns and pneumonia, that doctors later found she was suffering from Ventricular Septal Defect. This is a condition where the wall between the two a chambers of the heart does not form, leaving a hole.
Dr Gobind Singh, the surgeon and orthopedic specialist who treated Shivani, said:
'When Shivani was brought into the hospital her condition was very bad.She was gravely ill and had trouble breathing. Her abdomen was badly burnt and it was a sorry sight to see a little baby suffering so badly.'It is disturbing that tribal families still believe they would be cured with burns to their bodies.
'But I cannot blame them. They are illiterate and not informed about medical science, they don't understand.
'When we get such cases, we try to educate the parents, and explain the importance of bringing their children to us for better treatment.'
Wow, education is so important! Glad the little girl got some real diagnosis and hopefully the right medical intervention will save her life. Makes me wonder if her dead older sister had died from the same condition?
Via Dailymail UK