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Incurable disease turns out to be simple allergy

KUALA LUMPUR: Many patients who have been misdiagnosed by doctors or who had been the subject of negligent actions often suffer in silence because the route of litigation is paved with high costs, delays and uncertainties.

Tashwita Devi Yogesh, now five, is a bright and extremely chatty girl. One would never guess that the first three months of her life was spent in and out of hospitals. Paediatric specialists at a government hospital thought she suffered from a rare and incurable disease, when it turned out to be a simple case of intolerance to cow’s milk protein.

Her mother Anusha Vasu, 35, says her baby was fed formula milk after she was born. Soon after, she started having diar¬rhoea and vomiting spells, to the extent of getting dehydrated.

“She was barely six weeks old when my husband and I took her to a government hospital in Cheras. They admitted her and took her urine, blood and stool samples,” Anusha says.

During her stay in the paediatric ward, she and her husband Yogesh Karisenan, also 35, had suggested to the doctors that it may be a case of allergy to formula milk but they were overruled.

Tashwita was discharged after several days, but she became dehydrated again after a bout of diarrhoea when she was about 12 weeks old. She was again warded at the hospital and the same team attended to her.

“This time, they even took her spinal fluid. The specialist told us it was a case they had never encountered before and that it might be a rare incurable illness,” relates Anusha, adding that she was devastated by the news. Tashwita was discharged while the lab processed samples obtained from her.

Soon after that, she fell severely ill. This time, they took her to a private medical centre in Cheras. “There, a specialist checked her and told us that it was a case of allergy to cow’s milk protein. She prescribed a special milk formula for babies with protein allergy. We followed her advice and Tashwita has been healthy ever since,” says Anusha.

This is an extract of the article that first appeared in the Sept 28 issue of The Heat.

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