My name is Ajay and I live in a small village in Bankura, West Bengal. Last year in December, Chitra gave birth to a healthy baby. She is the youngest and only girl in our family. In just a few seconds, the entire family devoted themselves to ensure that Debika doesn’t fall short of anything. Now my wife, Chitra and I are struggling to save our little princess every day.
But in just 21 days, our lives started falling apart. We noticed that Debika's stools were full of blood. Had it been the first time, I don’t think we would have panicked so much. 3 years ago, our first baby boy had similar symptoms initially.
From the age of 9 months, we were taking our baby boy to Apollo hospital as he was suffering from ulcerative colitis, a condition where there are ulcers in the stomach and the large intestine is severely affected. We could keep him alive until when he was 3 years. On one cursed morning, he started vomiting and was slowly freezing. By the time we took him to the hospital, he had passed away. My baby was gone.
We have seen death from such a close distance. The pain of losing one’s own child is something that no parent can ever get over. We didn’t leave any stone unturned to save our first child but still couldn’t save him. We can’t afford to lose Debika now.
When Debika started showing similar symptoms, Chitra and I couldn’t keep calm. We lost our sanity. When we took her to the local doctors, we were immediately asked to move her to Apollo, Chennai. By the time we moved her, she had started vomiting a lot, she had a lot of loose motions, she had stopped eating and sleeping.
When we finally took her to the hospital, they couldn’t delay any further. After gene mutation tests, they said our baby girl has an X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome. I had never even heard of it but this condition was not allowing her immune system has not developed. The doctors told us that without a bone marrow transplant we will not be able to save her.
I can’t imagine that the smile that has the power to take away all worries, might not be around without the transplant. Her immunity system is slowly killing her. She has a very high fever most of the time, she passes blood with frequent stools, vomits a lot. With the medicines, she was getting better for a while. But now, again, she has stopped eating. It hurts to see her toss relentlessly all night.
We have not been able to be positive, but I will have to save my baby girlI, at least go out to work but Chitra is the one constantly around Debika. She had quit her job when our first baby had fallen sick. She has forgotten sleep and food because she has to feed Debika every 2 hours. Chitra has become so weak. I can’t look into her eyes anymore. She breaks down every now and then. She keeps on telling me that even the best hospital couldn’t save our first baby. She is very skeptical if Debika will live. I know Chitra will become a living dead if we lose Debika. Death haunts us every second and saying that we are scared is simply an understatement.
I teach in a school in Bankura. We were somehow managing with my modest income. But now every month I have to spend Rs 41,000 approximately. Apart from the monthly costs, I have already spent Rs 1.5 lakhs to save my baby girl. I am in neck-deep debt from all places. I have borrowed from my school, from my friends and a few relatives. They also have limited resources and their own families to take care. I have no other place left to turn back to. I don’t know how will I save my baby.
How can you help?Debika is at high risk of giving into infections and deadly diseases if she doesn’t get her bone marrow transplant soon. Her father, Ajay has given up everything to save his baby girl. But the cost needed to save the 3-month-old is Rs 25 lakhs which is a huge amount for the village school teacher.
Your support can save baby Debika.