“For Harsh, no infection is a mild infection. All of them are a threat to his life. In 2018, my son has been admitted to the hospital 5 times. In the past 7 years, he’s been admitted over 40 times and fought so hard to live. Just 15 days ago, for the first time, he told me, ‘Will I get better? If not, it’s okay, let me die’. I was devastated and I wanted to cry but I didn’t shed a tear. If I cry in front of him, he will lose his will to fight.” - Pushpalata, Harsh’s mother
Since birth, 7-year-old Harsh has been tortured by a rare immune disease, making him extra susceptible to every infection out there. Harsh weighs just 7 kilos and he has valiantly recovered from countless life-threatening infections. The malnourished 7-year-old is now at an extremely critical stage and cannot survive without an immediate bone marrow transplant.
Harsh has been battling life-threatening infections since he was a small baby; it has only got worse over the years
“In 2011, when he was a few months old, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Harsh is our only child, and this hit us hard. Eventually, in November 2011 we got to know that he has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. He and his immune system are so weak that over the past 7 years, he has got countless infections and even the most basic ones can be life-threatening. When he was 10 months old, he was pooping blood endlessly. He was in the hospital for 45 days. I can’t tell you how much I’ve cried, or what Harsh has been through.” – Pushpalata
In 2016, due to severe diarrhoea, Harsh was admitted in the hospital for over 2 months and even went a few days without food. As if things aren’t bad enough already, after that Harsh was rushed to the ICU because his heart was at high risk of failure. In addition to this, in January 2018, due to a severe calcium deficiency, Harsh’s hands were disfigured and he had to be admitted to the hospital not once, but 5 times.
7-year-old Harsh looks like a scrawny 2-year-old because of his condition
“If you look at him, he doesn’t look like a 7-year-old. In fact, he looks like he’s just 2 years old. He weighs just around 7 kilos whereas a normal 7-year-old is around 22 kilos. He needs an IVIG injection every month and when it wears off, he gets loose motions. So, even though he loves eating good home-cooked food, his weight just doesn’t increase because he suffers from loose motions so frequently.” – Pushpalata
Harsh can't even step out of his house, let alone go to school and it is a miracle that he is still aliveFor the past 7 years, Harsh has just been at home, apart from the days he’s fighting for his life in the hospital. Harsh can’t go to school, festivals, or out for anything. Even all the windows in his house are sealed shut because he can catch an infection so easily. If someone goes to meet Harsh, they can’t go near him and have to talk from a distance. Harsh has also been riddled with frequent viral fevers. Along with his physical health, this has also severely affected the 7-year-old’s mental health. Harsh has been tormented with life-threatening infections which he has miraculously recovered from till now. But now, the 7-year-old can’t go any further without an immediate bone marrow transplant. His parents have been matched as suitable donors too.
Pushpalata and her husband are desperate to save Harsh, but their short funds are a big obstacle
“My husband, Rahul, works as an electrician and earns just around Rs. 250/day. Every 3-4 weeks, Harsh needs the IVIG injection which costs Rs. 14,000. He also takes 10 tablets a day out of which most are antibiotics. My son has fought so bravely for a reason. I know he will get better and even though we are struggling, we are trying really hard to provide for the transplant as soon as possible. I want to save him and see him go to school. I know he will be late, but that’s okay, he is special.” – Pushpalata