“We couldn’t afford to stay in Kolkata with no income. I somehow found a way to survive, but now I have nothing left to save my son. The blood he’s been getting just isn’t enough.” - Minati, mother
He was supposed to start school for the first time this year
Pratik was getting homeschooled by his mother when he fell terribly ill. He was going to start school for the first time this year, but in January, he was admitted to the hospital with a severe nose-bleed. They said it was blood cancer.
“When the bleeding started, with high fever, we knew something was wrong. We rushed him to the health centre close to our house. But they did not have many facilities, so we had to immediately bring him to Kolkata.” - Minati
It was only in Kolkata that his disease was diagnosed as aplastic anemia, a blood disease. For a minute, she was relieved – it wasn’t cancer. But she soon realized that his disease was just as dangerous. Ever since then, Minati is always by her son’s bedside; catering to all his needs.
His father can't be there for him through his pain
Minati’s husband, Subarna, couldn’t come with them to Kolkata, as he had to look after the small shop that he owns in his village. He earns around Rs. 4,000 - 5,000 per month.
“That used to be sufficient for 4 of us, but now it feels nothing. I think, we have already spent 4-5 lakhs in the past 6 months. Sometimes blood transfusions happen every week, costing 6,000 or more. Our family and friends have been very supportive, and they have graciously helped us out with money, but now all of that is over. We have nothing.” – Minati
It hasn’t been easy for Pratik. He is in a lot of pain, he is terrified of injections and just wants to go back home. He was looking forward to going back to school, but he’s confined to the four walls of the hospital. This is not the life his parents had ever imagine for him. Gone are the days when he used to paint, listen to music and play with his brother.
However, Pratik can have all of that back if he gets a bone marrow transplant. He can go back home.
This is the first time has Minati left her home to live. But she is determined to take her son back home, healthy.