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When Sindhya Rajeev first saw six-month-old Maya, he knew the baby was severely malnourished.
"Her entire head fit into my palm. When I held her, I felt every bone beneath her skin," he recalled.
Maya’s mother Janaki married at the age of 15. She had three older children as well as a mentally ill husband. Although the staff of the Nyaya Health’s Bayalpata Hospital urged the mother to stay so they could closely monitor Maya while they nourished her back to health, there was nobody else to take care of her family.
"As Janaki walked out of the hospital with Maya, I worried that we would never see them again," said Rajeev, who is the U.S. Watsi coordinator for Nyaya Health. "But, three days later, to our surprise, after walking six hours in 100-degree weather, Janaki returned to the hospital with Maya. Neighbors had offered to keep an eye on her children, and Janaki’s eleven-year-old daughter had assured her mother that she could manage the household while her mother remained at the hospital taking care of her younger sister."
Maya recovered and began to show normal weight gain and growth.
Like Maya, the malnourished children of this impoverished district of Nepal have a chance to recover because nurses and other staff work tirelessly to help them and counsel their families.
"Ultimately, a mother will walk hours in the blistering sun to save her child’s life so long as our resources provide the hope she needs and deserves," Rajeev noted.
Photo of Maya courtesy of Nyaya Health. GreaterGood.org supports the work of Nyaya Health through the Gifts That Give More program.