My name is Anahata Sundarmurthy. I am glad to make your acquaintance, and appreciate the time you've taken to read my appeal. If you do contribute to this campaign, I sincerely request you to leave a name or number, so I may be able to thank you. Now, here it is...
What is the campaign for?
My grandfather, Satheesh Vaman Karimbil, aged 78 years, recently contracted an infection called Viral Encephalitis. He is fighting for his life for the second time in the past 4 months, and although he recovered the first time around, he has had a second attack with added complications.
Very truthfully and simply, here is why:
Over the last 4 months, we have spent around Rs. 4.3 Lakhs totally on my grandfather's hospitalisation, medication and maintenance. This amount includes both my parents' savings and money taken on loan. We have exhausted our reserves and are not in a position to debate further loans. Having used up our medical insurance claim for the first time hospitalisation costs, we no longer have a sufficient amount of money left to dedicate to my grandfather's medical needs.
My grandfather's suffering is great and I am not sure if it is better or not that he is not always conscious to know it.
It would be an act of great kindness if you would help me and my parents help my grandfather, Satheesh, reduce his pain and live as normal a life as he is able. As he said soon after his first recovery: "The only thing I can do is accept this, that I am still alive, and move on with the time I have."
All the money from this campaign will be used to pay for my grandfather's hospitalisation, continuing medical assistance and medications, and his overall daily requirements.
What is Viral Encephalitis?
This infection is more commonly known as 'Brain Fever'. The infection may be bacterial or viral. In some cases, encephalitis may be the result of an immune system disorder. Mild cases may cause no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms. Severe cases can be life-threatening. Immediate medical attention is required for symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, seizures, weakness and loss of sensation. In addition to addressing the underlying cause, treatments include symptomatic relief and supportive care. This infection typically affects the elderly, of ages 60 and above. Fortunately, it is an uncommon disease in our geographical region of the world, and only 1% of the Indian population is prone to it.
Unfortunately, my grandfather is part of this 1%, and is in critical condition.
Who is Satheesh Vaman Karimbil?
By now, you will know that he is my grandfather, from my mother's side. He was many things in his life, including a professional photographer, a connoisseur of arts, a martial artist, a dog enthusiast and professional dog trainer, and a father to two daughters. He taught me photography and its techniques, some dog training and I share much of his love for the arts. He was always encouraging of this.
Today, he is a man in dire need of intense and extensive medical aid.
What happened to my grandfather?
He came back from a very fulfilling trip to Germany, where he met the renowned dog whisperer, César Milan. My grandfather is also in many ways a dog whisperer. He dedicated much of his life to training dogs and caring for them. He would encourage anyone with a penchant for dog training, and would help anyone who showed the smallest interest in dogs.
As mentioned, encephalitis can be bacterial or viral. Soon after his return from Germany, his physical condition deteriorated. We, just like he, passed it off as age finally catching up to him. He was a brisk, old man, so it was strange to see how worn out he seemed.
Not long had passed since this observation than we got a call informing us that he had been rushed to emergency at Stanley Hospital in Washermanpet. He had been found on the road, fallen and having epileptic seizures. Kindness, in the shape of a man, found him and admitted him immediately.
He stayed in critical condition for a period of one month, in which time he fought the treatment hard. His confusion was caused by the inflammation in his brain, said the doctors, and he began to physically struggle. He couldn't recognise the people he was talking to all the time and many times became very anxious and agitated, needing assistance for every basic action. After he was brought out from critical care, we transferred him to St. Isabel Hospital, Mylapore, for more treatment. His condition slowly stabilised, and we were finally able to take him home. Although his physical condition improved, his mental recollection, recognition and cognitive abilities remained unreliable. Over a month, he improved to a point where he was able to travel, with assistance, and returned to his home in Thirunindravur.
My parents, both, took leave of their jobs for the time that my grandfather was hospitalised and helped support him. Anjali, a friend of my grandfather, helped us every step of the way, and my aunt, Sangeeta too. The insurance money that came covered one-third of the costs incurred, which, at the time, was close to 3 Lakh rupees.
Again, nearly 2 weeks ago, he was readmitted to emergency care at Parvathee Hospital, Thirunindravur. He had another attack. This time, it was accompanied by Atrial Arrhythmia, caused due to the fluctuations in his brain. Separately, a second condition called Ventricular Tachycardia has developed, adding to him suffering. Both these conditions affect his heart directly, causing his heart to be perpetually unstable. Although he has been discharged from the hospital, he is on heavy medication for his cocktail condition and is being maintained and monitored closely.