Foreign domestic helper dedicated her life to employer's children

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Would you dedicate your life to caring for someone else's children as though they were your own? Read this touching story about a selfless foreign domestic helper who sacrificed so much for her employer's family.

In 1996 when Madam Selvakumari Chelladurai was 45, she gave birth to her son, Ravindran. Soon after, it was discovered that he had Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a musculoskeletal disorder.

“Being a newlywed and having a child with special needs, I was overwhelmed, emotional and felt that the world was tumbling,” she shares.

But when Madam Selvakumari’s friend recommended domestic helper, Miss Ranpati Dewage Siyanthi Siromani Pushpika, to her, she proved to be a valuable addition to the family for many years to come.

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Madam Selvakumari’s son was born with a rare musculoskeletal disorder.

Rare musculoskeletal disorder

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) is a rare disorder which develops even before birth and is present at birth, which can be recognised by the reduced mobility of many joints.

Those affected by AMC find that their range of motion of the joints in their arms and legs is limited or fixed.

Affected joints can include:

  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Wrists
  • Fingers
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Virtually any and all joints

Arthrogryposis comes from the Greek words for joint and crooking, and actually means “crooking of the joint”.

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Madam Selvakumari’s second son was also born with the same medical condition.

History repeats itself

Miss Pushpika showed that she was capable of looking after Ravindran all by herself, after only seven months of working for the family.

It was then that Madam Selvakumari felt confident enough to return to work as a part-time accountant, which was a great help to her husband, Mr Balan, who was then working as an export manager, with the expensive medical bills.

“Pushpika was my pillar and rock. Here is a young woman, who was only 26 years old when she started working for me and had a whole life in front of her”, says Madam Selvakumari.

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Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine helps provide a flow of air into the nasal passages to keep the airway open.

But the unimagineable happened in 2002 when Madam Selvakumari gave birth to her second son, Arvind, who also had the same rare medical condition as his older brother.

Miss Pushpika then became the primary caregiver for the two young boys and even learnt how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), how to use a special suction machine to remove phlegm from the children’s throats, and how to use the Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, which helped to provide a flow of air into the nasal passages to keep the airway open.

She was so dedicated that she did not take any days off but would only ask for a few hours to go send money back to her family in Sri Lanka.

Madam Selvakumari acknowledges that Miss Pushpika made the ultimate sacrifice of love for her boys and decided to put them before herself.

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Miss Pushpika eventually became best friends with Madam Selvakumari

Best friends

Ravindran passed away in 2007 and Arvind in 2013, due to complications caused by AMC, yet Miss Pushpika still works for Madam Selvakumari until this very day.

“Her dedication towards us is beyond words. I cannot imagine how I could have cared for my two boys over the last 18 years without her,” says Madam Selvakumari.

Madam Selvakumari is so thankful for her Sri Lankan domestic helper and her many years of service to the family, that she nominated her for the Foreign Domestic Worker of the Year award.

Miss Pushpika shares, “I’m very happy working here. She (Madam Selvakumari) is not only my madam, but also my best friend.”

Do you have a great domestic helper has gone above and beyond her duty for you and your family? Share your story with us in the comments section below.

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