“Rohit has not spoken his first words until now. He cannot walk on his own as well – he needs to be carried around. His eyes are getting more yellow every day. The doctors have told us that he will not survive for long if he does not get a liver transplant soon. Our son does not have much time left but we are poor textile weavers who have no money to save him,” says Babon Mallick, 3-year-old Rohit’s father.
Village elders convinced them that Rohit had jaundice and that medicines would make him alrightBabon and his family live in a small village in Hoogly district, Karnataka, where every decision, even personal ones, are made only after consulting village elders. When Rohit was born in a local health centre in the village, his body was yellow all over. From day 1, doctors at the centre maintained that it was jaundice and prescribed medicines. The village elders also agreed.
“My baby had dark yellow eyes and his urine was also yellow. We are illiterate people so we believed what the health centre doctors told us. We were at the mercy of village elders for loans and other financial help so we had to consider what they had to say too. Now when I see my son’s situation, I regret it.” - Babon
Rohit started missing developmental milestones
“As a baby, Rohit used to breastfeed properly. His sleep cycles were also fine. He also looked normal. We had no reason to believe that he had any big issue. But we started noticing that he would not babble as much as other children his age or try to interact with us. That was only the beginning of his problems.”- Murshida Begum, Rohit’s mother
Over time, Rohit started becoming more inactive. He would just feed and sleep all day. His parents started getting concerned when, despite having turned two, he hadn’t spoken his first word. He was also not even crawling or creeping like children, let alone trying to stand up on his own.
When Rohit’s parents realized that he was not growing and developing normally, they took him to a hospital in Kolkata. After a couple of tests were done, it was revealed that Rohit had a severe genetic liver disease that cannot be cured with medicines. He needed a liver transplant at the earliest or he would not survive. From then, Babon and Murshida have been running to different hospitals trying to beg doctors to save their child.
Babon and Murshida took Rohit to many hospitals, begging doctors to treat their child
“I am desperate to save my child – that is why I have taken loans from the same village people who told me that my son did not have any problem. We have been travelling to almost every big city in the country to ask doctors to help us. Finally, we are in Hyderabad. Doctors at a city hospital have promised us that a transplant can save our son. They have also told us that he will be able to talk and walk normally. But it is very expensive. We don’t know what to do,”- Babon Mallick
Today, Rohit lies on a bed all day, waiting for a transplant that his parents cannot affordRohit’s condition has become so bad that he has stopped eating. His parents have to force-feed him because his health might suffer otherwise. His eyes are dark yellow and he is tired all day.
“We have taken a small room for rent near the hospital. Rohit does not even signal us to say that he is hungry or thirsty. He gives us no clues to understand how he is feeling. We are depending on our intuition to take care of his needs. I know I will lose my child if he does not get the transplant soon.”- Murshida Begum
How you can helpBabon and Murshida used to earn a living doing embroidery work on textiles before they left their village to save Rohit. They used to earn around Rs 4,000 every month. They have no savings and have taken loans from relatives and people in their village to just take him to hospitals. Babon is ready to give his own liver to Rohit but the transplant surgery will cost Rs 12 lakhs, which they cannot arrange, given their poverty.
Your kindness can save Rohit from a painful end and give him a chance to live a normal life.