Kochi: At the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, Sofia Marin Banu glanced down at her precious bundle of joy in her arms for the first time on Wednesday, 15 days after the baby girl was born in a hospital in Nagercoil.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, officials of Kerala and Tamil Nadu witnessed the emotional reunion of mother and child at Kaliyikkavila.
The healthy newborn was handed over to Marin by the medical staff of the private Erankulam Lisie Hospital where the child underwent a complicated surgery for a serious heart problem soon after her birth through cesarean section at a Nagercoil hospital.
Her heart problem was diagnosed during pregnancy and the parents wanted the delivery at the private hospital at Ernakulam which is known for handling such cases.
According to hospital sources, doctors had said the baby was due on April 30, but the woman developed labour pains much earlier and delivered the child at the Nagercoil hospital in Tamil Nadu.
The baby born with complex heart disease (d- transposition of great arteries) was reunited with the mother after the surgery, hospital sources said here. Effective coordination by the Kerala and Tamil Nadu government officials removed all the blocks created due to the COVID-19 lockdown and the child was taken to Ernakulam in an ambulance immediately after her birth on April 14 for treatment, sources said.
"It was a very complicated surgery. We kept the child in complete isolation during the course of treatment," Ebin Abraham, a Lissie hospital staff, told PTI.
The surgery was conducted by a team of doctors led by cardiothoracic surgeon Sunil G S and pediatric cardiologist Edwin Francis.
The infant's father had accompanied the baby in the ambulance for the treatment but he was quarantined in a separate room in the hospital and was not allowed to see the child directly.
He, however, saw his child through a video call.
This is Marin's third child. "Certainly it was an emotional moment for Marin, who was in Nagercoil. But we could not see the emotions on her face as she was wearing a mask to protect herself from novel coronavirus infection when she received the baby from us," said Abraham who witnessed the reunion at the border.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office, Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas and Tamil Nadu government intervened to facilitate the smooth journey of the ambulance carrying the child soon after her birth at the Nagercoil hospital.