A woman’s tearful appeal for help to fund her mother’s liver transplant surgery in Kerala has received the most touching response from the internet.
In a video, Kannur native Varsha had requested for Rs 2 lakh for an urgent and life saving liver transplant surgery that her mother had to undergo and which the family could not afford.
Her emotional appeal didn’t just go viral last week, it landed 22-year-old Varsha with Rs 50 lakh from generous online donors, who contributed to save her mother P Radha.
“Varsha only had Rs 10,000 with her and managed to raise Rs 1 lakh by taking loans from friends, family and distant acquaintances. She lives alone with her mother in Kannur’s Thaliparamba. The two of them just have each other as immediate family and there was no one to turn to for help” Varsha’s cousin Beena, who helped the mother-daughter duo told TNM.
It was three months ago that Varsha’s mother Radha was admitted to the Kannur’s Pariyaram Medical College Hospital, after she contracted Hepatitis A. She was being treated at the hospital but the 46-year-old’s condition worsened and her liver function started to deteriorate.
“Last month, the doctors in Kannur told Varsha that the disease had spread to her mother’s liver, and that she had to be taken to another hospital. They referred Radha to Amrita Institute of Medical Science (AIMS) in Kochi,” Beena added.
For three weeks, Radha received treatment at AIMS. However, three days ago, doctors informed Varsha that an emergency surgery was required to save her mother’s life.
“They told us she needed a liver transplant and it had to be done within three days, failing which it would be difficult to save her life. She had developed jaundice due to poor liver function and was comatose,” Beena added.
Varsha and Beena were informed that the surgery would cost Rs 3 lakh. This is when Beena approached Thrissur-based social worker Sajan Kechery, who suggested that Varsha start a crowdfunding campaign and appeal for financial assistance.
At 3 am on June 24, Varsha and Beena put up a video seeking financial help for Radha’s surgery. And within a few hours, her appeal went viral and led to a flood of responses and donations. “In the next 24 hours, we had enough funds to pay for the surgery,” Beena confirmed.
Radha’s surgery took place on June 25 at AIMS, with Varsha donating a part of her liver.
Both mother and daughter are recovering from the surgery.
Speaking to TNM, Dr S Sudhindran, head of transplant surgery at AIMS said that Radha’s was among the rare cases of Hepatitis A, which affected the liver and caused massive injury.
“Usually patients recover without any consequences. However, in rare cases it spreads to the liver and results in injury. A liver transplant was needed, failing which the patient would not have recovered,” Dr Sudhindra added.