“One minute she’s laughing, shaking her hands and legs. The next, she’s screaming in pain, not knowing where it hurts. She swings her legs harder, trying to free herself from the tubes and needles pierced in. She thinks that’ll make the pain go. It is heart-wrenching to see her shriek in shock when that only hurts more!” – Sirisha, mother.
She has a large cancerous tumour in her stomach10-month-old Satvika had been leading a normal life. Always found with her toys around, she was a happy, active child. One week however, she had a severe case of diarrhoea. To add to that Sirisha realised Satvika hadn’t urinated for 36 hours straight. That very night, the parents took a bus and rushed her to a hospital in Guntur. The MRI results came soon after, revealing a huge tumor in her stomach. Having undergone a session of chemotherapy already, she needs intense chemotherapy for a year more, to treat her cancer.
“Left alone she could play for hours together. But after the initial treatment now, she’s afraid. She is terrified of the hospital and the people. I have to be around her every second. She has nothing to do and is restless. I have made her a balloon with the surgical gloves. That’s her only toy now.” – Sirisha.
Away from home and 4 months pregnant, Sirisha is struggling
“Just 4 months ago, we were celebrating the news of our second child. We were grateful to God. But just 2 months after that, the news of Satvika’s cancer crushed us. As much as I yearn to have another child, I can’t help but wonder - what if this baby too falls sick like Satvika? I'm very scared. The doctors keep asking me to rest. But, how can I? Nobody else is there to take care of my daughter. I have to be there for her. Sleepless nights, and eating at odd hours – I dread the effect it might have on my body, and my baby. But I have to save Satvika! ” – Sirisha.
Ramesh works over-time in Guntur while he yearns to be with his babyRamesh works as a sales-officer in Ongole, for a monthly income of Rs. 15,000. He’s the only earning member of his family and can’t afford to quit the job. With the hospital expenses being way out of their capacity, every rupee counts. He’s therefore having to stay away from his family when they most need him.
“Satvika loves her daddy the most. Every day after work, he comes back and the two spend their time playing games. No matter how tired he is! Now, it’s been two months since we left home. My husband comes whenever he can. He wants to be here, but we’re helpless. He video calls us every night, and sometimes, breaks down seeing her like this.” – Sirisha.
Satvika requires a year-long treatment and multiple blood transfusions to treat her cancer. The expenses amount to 6 lakhs and the parents are helpless. No matter how many more extra hours of work Ramesh takes up, he won't be able to meet the required amount.
"We have tried asking relatives and neighbors. Nobody is ready to help us out for we have no property, no guarantee. We’ve sold all the jewellery and mortgaged certificates. I’m pregnant – means more expenses. They schedule scans for me, they prescribe medicines. I just don’t go. I don’t feel like it. Every rupee that I’m able to save for my daughter is important. But 6 lakhs, we just can't. We can never forgive ourselves if we were to lose our daughter because of our lack of funds.” – Sirisha.
Just ten months into this world, Satvika is battling for life. Your contribution can save her, and her family.