27-year-old Shivaji Shinde believed he was tired from a hard day of work until he discovered that he had a serious heart condition. He needs surgery to improve his condition and eliminate the immediate threat to his life.
Shivaji lives with his father and mother in a small rented place in Malleshwaram’s Milk Colony. He was working at a factory near Jalahalli cross. He used to get very tired every day, but he wrote it off as stress from work.
Shivaji’s father Maruti Shinde recounts the events leading from last year, “One day, his fatigue got so serious that the other workers had to admit him to the hospital. The doctor there diagnosed him of heart enlargement and transferred him to a cardiac specialty hospital. We couldn’t afford his treatment there so we requested a transfer to a smaller hospital. Unfortunately, the other hospitals did not have the equipment or expertise required to treat him. So, he was prescribed medicines to manage his condition.”
Shivaji was required to pay monthly visits to the hospital for examination. “From what I understand, he was not given the right medicines. So, his condition kept getting worse until it became imperative to have him admitted to the hospital again.”
Shivaji was diagnosed with severe Dilated Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), with pneumonia, and loculated pleural effusion. The cavity around his lungs was filled with fluid and needed to be drained. As he was not responding to the medication, the fluid build increased causing an abnormal accumulation of fibrous tissues over lungs called fibrothorax.
This time, affordability was out of the question. Shivaji’s life was in grave danger. The doctors recommended crowdfunding as an option to help with the medical bills and stressed the importance of treating Shivaji right now to avoid further complications.
“They drained over a liter of fluid from his lungs. He needed to be in the ICU to avoid infection and also be hooked to certain equipment. Now he needs surgery called thoracotomy decortication to remove that fibrous layer that is reducing his lung capacity.”
Shivaji would eventually need a heart transplant as his heart is getting weaker, but his condition needs to improve before a second surgery. The priority now is to stabilize his lungs and reduce the pressure on his heart so there are lesser risks for the transplant.
The approximate cost for this surgery and continued care is Rs. 2.5 lakhs. Shivaji lost his job in the factory due to his condition. He did, however, sign up to be an Ola Cab driver for a few months before his condition for worse. Unfortunately, his income was not enough to make substantial savings for medical expenses.
“I have studied only until 8th standard. What jobs will they give us? We are stuck earning a few thousand a month to support our families. I never thought this day would come when I had to see my son fight for his life and feel helpless.”
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