7-yr-old Selvi may not live without a bone-marrow transplant, her poor parents can't afford it
Selvi loves playing kho-kho. Nothing gives her more joy than sprinting around the field and tagging her friends as the next ‘denner.’ However, every 15 days, she has to skip school and her play-time to spend an entire day at the hospital. Ever since her 2nd birthday, her life has revolved around hospital visits and tests. She is 7 years old now and still has to undergo painful blood transfusions to stay alive.
“The joy and happiness on her face when she plays just disappears as soon as we enter the hospital room and she sees the needles. Now she considers this to be a matter of routine which breaks our hearts,” says Asha, her mother.
In February 2014, when her elder son received a bone marrow transplant for his Thalassemia Major (A blood disorder involving lower-than-normal amounts of an oxygen-carrying protein), she assumed that the constant trips to the hospital would stop. “But just a month later, our dear little girl was diagnosed with the same disease,” she says.
“When our little girl first complained that she was feeling sleepy and did not seem excited to eat the chicken biriyani I had prepared for her, we touched her forehead and it was slightly warm. I immediately put the fan on and gave her medicines,” Asha says. For her, it was déjà vu. “As the doses had no effect and Selvi did not get better, our minds flashed back to 2010 when our son Kaviyan had the same problems. We panicked and rushed Selvi to the hospital we had become so familiar with over the last 3 years. Throughout the journey we hoped and prayed that our daughter’s illness was different from that of her brother." At the hospital, when the doctors came in after tests and asked them to sit, they knew their worst fears had come true.
“They told us that a bone marrow transplant was needed to completely cure our daughter at the earliest,” recounts Asha. “At that time we did not have the money for a transplant and could only afford her transfusion sessions. We did not know how to ask our friends for more money as we had just started to repay them for helping us with our son’s medical bills.”
Now, 5 years later, they have been told that the bone marrow transplant needs to be done at the earliest, or it could lead to complication in their daughter’s life. This treatment will cost Rs 18 lakh and they do not have that sort of money. “Over the last few years, my husband has drained up every single rupee of his monthly salary of Rs 5,000 in treating our children,” she says, “It crushes my husband to see us no closer to getting the money needed to save our daughter.” Asha’s husband works as a porter.
“Every night we look at my bank balance on my phone and whisper a prayer that the next morning will see us have just a little bit more so that we can be just that bit closer to saving our only daughter. A small contribution from your end will go a long way in saving our little girl and rescuing us. Please help us.” Asha says.
This article was created in association with Ketto.