Baby Arfana is barely three and is already accustomed to suffering. In an age when she should be keeping her entire house on tip-toes with her innocent giggles and mischievous plans, Arfana is writhing in pain as doctors insert needles in her lower back. 3-year-old Arfana has been diagnosed with Acute B Cell Leukemia and has been undergoing treatment at Shri Ramchandra Medical College (Chennai) since June 6, 2017.
The little baby’s ordeal began in the summer of 2017, when her entire body began to develop boils. Although the family immediately rushed the baby to the local doctor, they weren't thinking much about it. They thought it might be a result of Arfana's body reacting to the hot weather. Their little concern was further truncated when the doctors confirmed their diagnosis. However, the tragedy re-emerged when Arfana began to limp. Slowly but gradually, she was finding it difficult to walk without the support of something solid.
“We thought that our daughter must have fallen down somewhere. Arfana is very lively. She is always playing with someone. We thought the neighborhood kids must have been fighting and she might have fallen down. But when her limping continued for days, we became really worried. Even then, my first thought was, so what if Arfana limps throughout her life? I’ll make sure she is independent enough to take care of herself as she continues to grow older”, said Arfana’s father
In a bid to completely cure Arfana, the doctors have prescribed her chemotherapy for next two and a half years. Her chemotherapy sessions have already started and she has been in ICU from last 10 days. The baby still limps, and complains of severe stomach pain. Even though she opens her eyes and talks like a normal baby, she is constantly tired -- either from the excruciating pain being inflicted upon her tiny body or due to administering of medications.
Despite it all, however, the family has something to look forward to. The doctors have said the the kind of leukemia that Arfana has is highly curable. As it stands, the only thing standing between her journey to total heath is lack of money.
The estimated cost of the treatment is 6-8 lakhs and there is a high chance of complete recovery once the procedure has been carried out. As there is constant source of income, the family is finding it difficult to arrange the funds required for Arfana’s survival.
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