"She doesn't know we have sold her favourite goat, Dushto, to get money for her chemotherapy. We know once she gets to know she will not talk to us for days, she was her best friend. But what could I do? I couldn't think of anything else than saving my Babi."- Anita, mother
The past few months have been the toughest for Govinda and Anita. In September, they got to know about their youngest daughter Babi's tumour in the brain and in October, they got the surgery done. Now, Babi is unable to walk on her own without supportive shoes and has lost the grip in her hands. Since September, both of them are here in the hospital just relentlessly trying to save their baby girl.
They sold their cattle to raise money for her brain surgeryBabi has Pilocytic Astrocytoma - a type of tumour developing in her nervous system. It became noticeable when she used to keep falling while walking and dropping objects. Her right hand was always in pain, not a moment of relief despite the painkillers and injections.
"In a month, the doctors told us they will have to operate on her brain. I was terrified because she is just 4 years old, how can she bear such a big surgery? Time was running out and if we didn't get the surgery done, her tumour would pressure her nerves. I sold my gold in the village but when it was not enough, so we also sold our livestock. What would we do with the income if we couldn't have our Babi with us?" - Govinda, father
12 hours of wait outside the operation theatre made them anxious every secondWhen her critical brain surgery went on for 12 hours, every minute felt like a year for her parents. They frantically asked the nurses who were coming in and out of the Operation Theatre but no one was telling them what was happening inside. After a while, the surgeons assured them that they were successful in taking out a part of tumour. But she still has some of it inside but they can't touch it if they do she can be at risk of permanent disability. Now she needs chemotherapy to kill those cells.
But they didn't know this was not the end of their struggle. After spending 3.5 lakhs on her surgery, now they need 3 lakhs more for her chemotherapy. Moreover, Babi has to wear a special shoe as her right leg is unable to take her body weight. She needs physiotherapy also to restore the strength in her leg but without chemotherapy, her body will not respond to any treatment.
Govinda works as a lease farmer earning Rs.150 a day when he is employed. If not, he has to do other labour work on that day. Recently, most of his savings went away in rebuilding his house destroyed because of cyclonic storms. Now, he is even losing his daily income because he has to stay in the hospital to save his daughter.
Before tumour, Babi was an energetic smiling kid. She used to keep running from here to there. She had just started her school but hasn't gone except the first day. Now, all she asks is for her sister every time. She doesn't understand why her parents are not taking her home. She misses her life before the painful injections. Please help her parents save Babi.