Being a single child to my Appa and Amma, they sheltered me from harsh realities. Appa never said no to me for anything. I was his son and princess at the same time. I mean the world to him and he does to me as well. I never saw my Appa growing old, didn't notice his hair turning silver, didn't notice his hairline receding. He was the Rajnikant of our little family. There was nothing my Appa could not do, at least that is what it felt for me.
My first realization that Appa is growing old came when he hung his work boots a few years back. Our household ran on the little pension he got. So, as soon as I graduated last year I found a small job to support our household. After all, I am still my Appa's son & daughter.
My Appa has always been an active and very lively person, always walking to places, going on morning walks. However, over the course of last year, I started noticing Appa feeling shortness of breath just walking less than a hundred meters, unable to climb a flight of stairs.
Whenever I asked him to come and see a doctor with me, he would chide me citing "It's just cold I had a few days back. I think it is due to phlegm, I will get well soon enough. We don't have to go to a doctor for these small things. I will ask your mom to make me some kashaya, I will be back to normal tomorrow".
Then one morning he was finding it hard to breathe, we rushed him to the hospital they gave him Oxygen. I was afraid and panicking within and still, I had to keep a brave face for my Amma. I prayed to all the gods in our faith, pledged to visit them with my Appa when he gets better.
Doctors checked his lungs which were in good condition, then they did an Angiogram and checked his heart. I will never forget the day and the moment when the doctors told my Appa's heart valves are blocked and one major heart attack could cause major damage. Our worst nightmare had become reality, as we took an opinion from one heart specialist to another, the prognosis changed with every doctor.
However, one prominent senior heart surgeon Dr Vivek Jawali said we can do a conventional bypass to get him better. That brought on a momentary sigh of relief to us. However, when we saw the estimated cost of the procedure and other incidentals, I felt the ground beneath my feet vanishing, my amma broke down after we came home. Appa started telling "Why do we have to spend that much? How long will I live?".
We had spent almost all our savings on his tests and our savings were almost depleted and were about to run dry. It had been just a year since I joined my small time job, which has no medical insurance till I complete two years. We thought the government ESI would be able to help us, even there they told us that "You need to pay ESI for two years post which only you will get the medical benefit". It looked like there was no respite for us through our dark times.
I cannot tell people how many times I have had anxiety attacks in front of my friends, at home I have to keep a brave face. We asked family, friends, neighbours, during the initial days and they helped. However, now we need a large amount of money for the procedure and we cannot expect a lot from people who have already helped us.
We need INR 750,000 for his procedure + incidentals (ICU charges, hospital charges, blood, oxygen, other specialist charges etc) and the doctor has said the procedure needs to be done as soon as possible. I have attached all the reports and estimates here.
In spite of all this darkness around me, hope is the light which keeps me strong, hope is my strongest weapon, it is the hope that people will help me save my Appa. I don't want to tell "If you were in my condition..." as I don't want anybody else to go through what I am going through.
On one side I have the unknown, the helplessness, the inability and on the other side I have is hope, that people will help.
Think of me as your sister/cousin/son/relative/friend and help me save my Appa.