For Pouviarassy and her husband Venkatesan, the last 12 years have been, in their own words, “long and gruesome.” Ever since their daughter Aarthi turned 12, difficult and painful health complications in the child have created an agonising journey for the family.
While Pouviarassy and Venkatesan have waited over a decade for their daughter’s health to improve, pouring money into various treatments, Aarthi’s worsening condition has left them deeply dejected. And now, the couple is struggling to continue paying for the medical support that their child desperately needs.
“Twelve years….for the past 12 long and gruesome years, my daughter has been battling for life. My husband and I have supported and funded the treatments so far. But now we don't know if we can anymore.” Pouviarassy said, wiping away tears as she looked over at her young daughter.
In 2007, while Indians celebrated the festival Diwali, Aarthi’s struggles began. It started as a stomach ache, with Aarthi writhing in pain, but it progressed into breathing issues and severe leg contractions. Soon, as minutes passed, Aarthi became completely still and was unable to say a word.
It was Pouviarassy who found her 12-year-old daughter lying unconscious on the floor. The sight was horrifying, and she immediately called for her husband and rushed Aarthi to the hospital.
Then, they discovered that Aarthi was suffering from Wilson disease, a genetic disorder that would require medical treatment for the duration of Aarthi’s life. The news left Pouviarassy and Venkatesan shocked, but it was sadly only the beginning of their woes. They began Aarthi’s gruelling treatments and immediately and drained all their savings over the coming years.
In the years since Aarthi’s initial diagnosis, she has suffered greatly due to multiple complications, including a drastic drop in her platelet count, and liver failure in 2016.
Pouviarassy and Venkatesan learned that only an urgent liver transplant can save Aarthi, after reaching out to several hospitals for advice. The parents were terrified for their daughter, but after selling a few pieces of jewelry and borrowing money for the surgery, they were able to pay for the procedure. However, while the transplant was successful, Aarthi’s body did not accept the transplanted liver very well.
More complications cropped up as a result of this. Aarthi’s hip and legs joints were weakened due to the steroids she was given during treatment, and her bone density decreased. She also experienced a block in a gallbladder.
Now, 23-year-old Aarthi, who was dealt a cruel hand in life, is fighting for survival as she lays in a hospital bed. But all hope is not lost as yet.
Aarthi has a chance to live and even live a normal, pain-free life if she is able to get biliary repair and reconstruction along with splenectomy and bilateral hip replacement. The surgery will cost Rs 12 lakh ($16,266.15), a sum that the family is struggling to collect.
Venkatesan and Pouviarassy have put their life’s savings into the last 12 years of treatments, surgeries and hospitalisations. “Venkatesan is just an auto driver who works day in and out to make ends meet,” the fundraiser noted.
The family needs assistance to raise the Rs 12 lakh needed to provide Aarthi with the proper treatment she needs, while helping her parents who have worked tirelessly to save their child. Please donate as much as you can towards Aarthi’s treatment.
This article was created in association with Ketto.