Prema (16) and her friends often spent their evenings in the nearby field chatting, playing and eating ice cream on a hot summers’ day. Prema had looked forward to the two months of bliss after the gruelling class 10 board exams. However, on one such day, as Prema walked home with her friends, she collapsed just a few meters away from her house. On being rushed to the hospital, Prema was diagnosed with a deadly blood disease and was in the ICU for 3 days before she woke up again. Now, Prema’s ‘normal’ life has come to a tragic standstill.
Her disease is only making her weaker by the day.
“The cheerful and happy Prema we knew is now lost. Every day she would come back home and tell us stories about her school and friends, but for the past 6 months, she can't do anything but stay at home all day and watch life pass by.” – Dundavva, mother.
Prema is the first person in her family to go to school, but her dream of attending college may never be fulfilled
Prema’s parents, Arjun and Dundavva, never had the opportunity to go to school. They often felt that their illiteracy had held them back and would tell Prema 'You must study and make a better life for yourself, you deserve more than what we can give you.' And Prema was determined to do that. She’s the first person in her family to complete class 10 and was preparing to go to college. Prema often told her parents that when she would get a government job, they wouldn’t have to work so much anymore. However, shortly after her board exams, Prema was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a severe blood disease in which the body stops producing new blood cells.
She now needs blood transfusions every 15 days to stay alive.
“Even during the holidays, she was so focused. When she wasn’t spending time with her friends, she was preparing for college. But now everything has changed. We have to take her from our home near Bagalkot to Bangalore every 15 days for her to get blood. We take her by train, and by the time we reach the hospital, she’s so worn out. But this is the only thing keeping her alive now. The doctors tell us that it’s not enough, though.”Prema needs a bone marrow transplant at the earliest to be completely cured of the blood disease. Blood transfusions aren’t enough to keep her going for long.
They have to spend Rs. 8000 for every hospital visit, but earn only Rs. 200 a day – they have nothing left to afford her treatment
Arjun and Dundavva work as daily wage labourers on others’ farms for 150-200 rupees per day. They worked hard every day, only so that Prema and her younger brother could go to school. Arjun and Dundavva never imagined that one day, they might face the possibility of their daughter not even having a future. While they make a few hundred rupees a day, they’ve been spending more than 8,000 every time they take her for blood transfusions. Now, they’re 3 lakh in debt and nowhere close to affording the bone marrow transplant that she needs to live.
How You Can Help
Without a bone marrow transplant, Prema will lose her battle to the dreadful blood disease. Prema dreams of going to college and one day, making her parents proud. She has worked all her life towards it, but now, her body is giving up on her. Her parents, poor and helpless, have no means to afford the 20 lakhs required for her transplant.
Prema needs your help to survive.