For the past 2 years, all I've thought about is saving my daughter. I kept the seriousness of her condition to myself , I did not tell anyone, not even to my wife. I lived every day not knowing when it will be her last because the doctors here said that her liver disease can kill her any time. It was only last month that a doctor in Chennai said a transplant can save her life. I have only one choice now - to arrange for the transplant, but it's beyond my means." - Venkatesh, father of 11-year-old Rithuna
The cost of my ignorance - my daughter's lifeVenkatesh lives in a remote village near Salem, Tamil Nadu. Rithuna was born in this village. Her stomach was swollen at birth but doctors said it is nothing to worry and it subsided in a few weeks. She had recurrent stomach pain and every time medicines were prescribed. In 2017, she began to vomit blood and it was then Venkatesh took her to a hospital in Coimbatore and heard the shocking news that Rithuna's liver is affected and she may not live for many years. She was suggested banding to control the bleeding. (Rubberbands are placed directly over the blood vessels of the stomach to control bleeding). Last month, she again began to vomit blood and became weak. He was asked to take her to a hospital in Chennai.
"I was shivering and crying uncontrollably when doctors explained her condition. Since her birth, the signs of her liver disease has shown up many times but we missed it. I should have brought her to Chennai much before but I just blindly believed what the local doctors said. I can never forgive myself for this, If I lose her it'll be my fault." - Venkatesh
She thinks she vomits blood because of junk foodRithuna was terrified when she vomited blood for the first time. She was extremely weak then and the banding process helped her for some time. When it started again, she was scared and her parents told her that it is because of some food that didn't suit her stomach. She thought it was junk food and told her parents that she will not buy junk food from her school canteen. Now, she is waiting to go back to her school unaware that she'll lose her life without a transplant.
"I can donate my liver to her but we cannot afford it. I'm scared, I don't know what will happen to her, I'm praying every minute for her," - Jaya, Mother
Venkatesh is a daily wager, he works on other's farm and earns around Rs 300 per day. He needs 18 lakhs to save his daughter. He has already borrowed one lakh and now he has nothing left with him. He lives in constant fear of losing his daughter and his worst nightmares will come true without your help.