One morning in May last year, Karla Dasu woke up with a high fever. He didn’t want it to affect his work so he immediately went to see a doctor who gave him some medicines for the fever. But over the course of the next week, his condition hadn’t improved and he started getting severe headaches and started vomiting too. Thinking it was some other, more serious infection, he went to the hospital to consult another doctor who prescribed a few blood tests. The reports shocked him and his family, he had blood cancer.
Dasu was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a severe form of blood cancer. The doctors said that the chemotherapy sessions need to start right away. After enquiring about the cost of the sessions at different hospitals, he finally got admitted to the Basavatarakam Cancer hospital in Hyderabad, and his chemotherapy started.
“I was not prepared for any of this, neither mentally not financially. Chemotherapy is a difficult process. It makes me very irritable and has physical side effects too. Every time I have a session scheduled, I just want to run away.”
Dasu was a healthy man, with a regular life. When the news of his cancer reached his family, they were shocked. Owing to the severity of his condition, Dasu needs a chemo session once every three days.
Dasu throws up everything he eats. His condition is so bad that he can’t eat or drink anything. On better days, he takes liquid food and manages to keep it down, but more often than not, he is almost completely dependent on the IV drips, for his nutritional needs too. This makes Dasu feel crippled and helpless, adding to the misery of cancer.
"After going through all of it, I thought I was cured. But all my optimism took a hit when they told me my cancer was back."
After going through the prescribed rounds of chemotherapy, Dasu thought he'd have recovered. But to the utter disappointment of him and his family, his condition had relapsed. Now he needs salvage chemotherapy as well as a bone marrow transplant. That's the only way he can fully recover from his illness.
“More than the physical suffering, what scares me is the thought of what my family would do without me. They’re dependent on me and here I am, on the hospital bed, unable to do any of my duties towards them.”
Even from his hospital bed, all Dasu worries about is his family. Being the single breadwinner of the family, his responsibility extends beyond taking care of just himself and his family. More than the pain and discomfort that the cancer is causing him, it’s the thought of his family’s helplessness that keeps him up at night.
“I hate it that for my treatment, my family had to sell the only property they had. Because of my condition, they don’t have any financial security or income anymore.”
Dasu used to work as an electrical supervisor for a small private firm for a meagre salary. His earnings were barely enough to sustain their family of four. Now due to cancer, he’s not even able to work and the family income has come to zero. In order to fund his treatment, his family sold off the only patch of land they had for Rs 5 lakhs. Now even that money has run out and they don’t have any means to afford the expensive treatment that Dasu needs.
Dasu’s illness is affecting more than just him. His entire family is also suffering from lack of means to deal with the situation and their impeding helplessness if he doesn’t recover.
Karla Dasu can recover and be up on his own two feet again, but he needs your help. Your contribution will give him a second chance at life.