”Most of the times we cry in hiding, and not in front of him. But sometimes, we can’t help but breakdown when we are talking to him. He stops talking and tears stream down his face too. He doesn’t know what’s going on; doesn’t understand why everyone is so heartbroken” - Leelamurthy, father
16-year-old Srujan was a happy-go-lucky boy until a few months ago. He went to school like other kids did. He had just finished his 10th standard board exams when one day, he complained of a sudden chest pain. Not later, he fell sick and could no longer eat. His appetite went down drastically. But the chest pain stayed. He would clutch his chest and struggle to breathe, and nobody knew why.
They first thought it was acidity and later, TB – But it was something bigger
“We took him to a doctor. He said it was a case of severe acidity and gave him medicines for that. The chest ache still did not go. We took him to another doctor where they asked us to get an Echo test done. We were shook when they even mentioned the word “heart”. The results came, and there was water in his heart’s sac. We rushed him to a hospital in Hubli to get it removed. The doctor suspected tuberculosis. Luckily, or so we thought, it was negative! But never did we expect it to be this big” – Leelamurthy, father.
His chest pain was a symptom of deadly cancerFew days later, his chest pain resumed. Again, the parents rushed him to the hospital and got an Echo done. There was water in the heart’s sac, again. The doctors suggested a CT scan and it was revealed that there was a small boil between his lungs and heart. After an immediate biopsy, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The parents were shattered.
It took a week for the parents to come to terms with the bitter reality
“When they diagnosed him of cancer, our hearts stopped beating for a few seconds. But there wasn’t time for all that. Srujan needed us to be in our senses, now more than ever. He was such an active child. Seeing him like this makes us so sad. We haven’t told him he has cancer. He will be traumatized.” – Madhavi.
With chemotherapy, there is hope for SrujanHe is under chemotherapy currently, and the doctors have said his body is responding well. If Srujan is able to complete his treatment, he has very high chances of survival. The cost of chemotherapy and supportive care amounts to 12 lakhs.
But the parents are struggling to gather funds
Leelamurthy is the only working member of the family. He is a Kannada teacher, and earns a decent amount. While it may seem that the treatment is affordable for them, it isn’t. They’ve exhausted all of their savings over the past few months. Srujan’s heart has to be monitored regularly. With every Echo test costing them 3,000, apart from the chemotherapy and medication, the parents are in desperate need of funds. So far, they’ve borrowed money from every known family member, and friend. They are helpless.
“He can’t die on us! He’s got to live”
“It’s been close to a month since I went for work. No work means no money. I don’t know what to do. All I know is that I want to keep my son alive. For his age, he is a boy full of dreams. He sings, he draws. He studies well. He has too many dreams and it is unfair that this illness has chosen him. I don’t know how to gather the required funds. He’s the youngest in our house and it is heart-breaking to see him struggle.” – Leelamurthy.
This 16-year-old boy has only now begun living. With so many dreams for him to fulfil, now is not the time for him to be battling death. The parents are in need of funds. Your contribution can save him!