If her birth could not be in a more unnatural situation, her survival is perhaps the miracle of a century. Her mother along with her father and six-year-old sister was run over by a speeding truck. The impact of the crash was so violent that she came out of her mother's womb to land on the open road. Little did the new-born know that by the time she saw the light of this world, her mother, father and sister ceased to exist.
The baby girl survived but not entirely unscathed. With broken arms, she opened her eyes in the most hostile place imaginable. She could be the first ever neonate in the country, if not in the world, to have been so early a victim of the road accidents that people here have accepted as a dreaded inevitability.
In common parlance, she is called an orphan but her stranger than fiction birth and even more miraculous survival drew sympathy from all corners of the land. She received a hero's reception right from the time her little heart started pulsating and was placed in medical care. The owner of a private hospital in Mymensingh took the responsibility of the baby. Her little hands were bandaged to fix those and given necessary treatment. But when her bilirubin went past the danger mark, she was transferred to the Mymensingh Medical College where a five-member medical board was constituted to look after her.
Still she is without a name. She was admitted to the hospital as 'Baby of Ratna (her mother)', Those who were to select a name for her left this world without knowing she survived them. People who have been taking care of the life on its arrival in such an unusual circumstance were perhaps busy with the medical regime she has been put in. On the open road, there was no question of sanitation and the injuries the little body suffered had every chance of putting her life at risk. Jaundice or the high level of bilirubin is usually associated with infection of neonatal babies. It was not unusual that the baby who came to the world before schedule and in that bizarre situation should develop complications. She had anaemia and breathing problem on top of jaundice.
The good news is that after her admission to the Mymensingh Medical College, she is recovering from jaundice. Doctors are hopeful of her recovery. Another piece of good news is that the High Court has directed the authorities concerned to pay Tk0.5 million for the baby within 15 days. The social welfare secretary has also been asked to monitor progress in her medical care and submit a report within three months.
All these cannot compensate for the loss of her parents and sister. Particularly her deprivation of her mother's breast milk may be quite telling. Although another lactating woman was reportedly playing her milk mother, she cannot be a substitute for her biological mother. But still these are the warmth of human hearts, sympathy, generosity, care and humanitarian gestures that are likely to prove priceless for her to come round.
The family she was destined to born possibly could not make arrangement for such medical interventions. On that count the baby surviving the greatest tragedy such a little one has ever done can count her lucky. Many of her kinds from poor families simply suffer utter neglect at the time of birth and die. Even if they survive, they do not have enough nutritious foods and medical care when they need those most.
The little one who could also perish with her parents on that fateful day, escaped death by a sheer stroke of luck. Now that she has received media and administrative attention, she may not only survive but have a meaningful life if she is tended well at her growing stage to adulthood. Many have shown interest to adopt her but her grandpa has ruled it out. Yes, she should be allowed to grow up as the baby of her parents and become a symbol of fruitful life against all odds at the time of her birth. Let her rise from a gravest tragedy be like the rise of a phoenix from the ashes.