Dia Mirza has opened up about son Avyaan Azaad’s premature birth on his first birthday today. The former Miss Asia Pacific International revealed that her son suffered from a condition called necrotizing enterocolitis, which meant he had to go through a “life-saving surgery”.
“Our Jaan, our miracle, you were born on this day one year ago with the song Imagine playing. You were three months premature at 820 grams. Thirty-six hours after birth we discovered you had necrotizing enterocolitis and had to go through life-saving surgery. You were cared for and nourished in the NICU with a stoma for 90 days and finally sent home to us with a stoma,” she wrote, in an Instagram post.
“After you had gained strength and weight you went back to hospital for a second surgery that lasted four and half hours. The doctors prepared us for the worst and said it would take a minimum of 21 days before you could be back home with us,” she added.
Thanking all the doctors and nurses, the 40-year-old mentioned, “Avyaan Azaad, you were ready to be home with us on day nine, our warrior. Your grace, your strength, your determination to fight the odds is so inspiring. Our son, you are now catching up on all your milestones, are happy, playful and loving. You fill our heart with joy and gratitude every single day. We are amazed and amused that your first spoken word is – Tiger! We remain grateful to all of your doctors and nurses for taking such good care of you. Avyaan Azaad, you have inherited a world that will count on your love, grace, empathy and kindness. Make your own way our darling. Just as you do every day. Always remember – you are love. Happy Birthday our son. Thank you for choosing us.”
Previously, in an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com, Mirza said it was extremely challenging dealing with the uncertainty and unpredictability of how our child would respond to the medical interventions. “But we trusted our doctors and believe with all our hearts that all would be well. What kept me going was the support of my partner, our family and friends. We prayed, we meditated, we went with the flow. Our son gave us incredible strength with his grace and determination to overcome the extraordinary circumstances of his birth and subsequent medical complications,” she said.
Here’s what to know about the condition of necrotising enterocolitis
Necrotising enterocolitis is considered a serious gastrointestinal problem that mostly affects premature babies. Experts say that the condition inflames intestinal tissue, causing it to die. A hole (perforation) may form in the child’s intestine. Bacteria can leak into the abdomen (belly) or bloodstream through the hole. “Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious and at times critical condition of intestines of preterm babies characterized by inflammation, swelling and in a few severe cases, perforation of intestines. It is usually seen in babies born very prematurely (with birth weight <1.5 kg or pregnancy gestation less than 34 weeks). It is seen after a few days of birth and mainly after starting feeds to these babies,” said Dr Suresh Birajdar, neonatologist and paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar.
According to clevelandclinic.org, some of the symptoms to look out for are:
*Abdominal pain and swelling.
*Changes in heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and breathing.
*Diarrhea with bloody stool.
*Green or yellow vomit.
*Refusing to eat and lack of weight gain.
According to Dr Birajdar, infants with this condition present with vomiting (sometimes green coloured), swollen tummy/abdomen and blood in stools.
How is it diagnosed?
It can be diagnosed with blood tests, x ray of abdomen and abdomen, Dr Birajdar said.
Mild cases of NEC can be treated by keeping babies fasting, stomach decompression, giving intravenous antibiotics and intravenous nutrition. Advanced cases of NEC need surgery for intestinal necrosis and perforation, followed by prolonged nutrition through central venous catheter and care in Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), explained Dr Birajdar.
Why is early intervention necessary?
Early recognition and treatment of this condition is very important as severe cases of NEC have high mortality, sometimes up to 50 per cent, said Dr Birajdar. According to Dr TJ Antony, director and HOD, Neonatology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, the chances of contracting the condition increase when the baby is on formula milk.
How to prevent the condition?
Avoiding formula (milk powder) feeding in preterm babies and preferentially using mother’s breastmilk or donor human milk can help in reducing the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis in babies. Recent studies have shown that probiotics in the appropriate doses also has beneficial effects in prevention of NEC