Sthuthi thinks that her next nosebleed will kill her
Last March, her nosebleed started as she was walking back home. She wiped it away with her handkerchief. She even tried washing it off but the blood kept flowing. Terrified, she went running to her parents. They made her lie down and smell onions too. Nothing helped. She got a fever from blood loss.
“She is scared and asks me if she is going to die. She has never seen this much blood – she is too young. We are uneducated and we thought her nose bled because of summer heat. The doctor is now telling us that our youngest child's life is in danger. It is our own fault for letting things get this bad” - Kamala, Sthuti's mother.
Doctors say Sthuthi has a disease worse than Cancer
Sthuthi was diagnosed with a rare, deadly blood disorder Aplastic Anemia where her body has stopped producing blood cells. She is given new blood, but in small quantities, just to maintain her body functioning. Her platelet count is extremely low – and she often has large bruises on her skin due to bleeding.
“She has not understood what is wrong with her. She counts the big black marks on her skin. She becomes too weak to even eat – we have to get her some blood immediately. She thinks if we go back to the village, she will get better. She cries and says cruel things in the hope that she will convince us to go back. She's a very loving child – she must be very scared to talk like this.” - Kamala.
Sthuti's life cannot be saved till her parents arrange for surgery
Sthuti's parents Kamala and Arjun moved to Bengaluru from their village Sulikatti, Karnataka for Sthuthi's treatment. Kamala takes on odd jobs while Arjun works in housekeeping for a private company. They are trying their best to get Sthuti's treatment going.
Everytime we go to the hospital, she starts crying in a sad, tired voice. She begs to be taken home, and promises to get better. What is most difficult is staying strong in front of her. She is the youngest in the house – it is painful to see her pleading like this.” - Kamala.
How you can help
Every month, the family spend over Rs 10,000 on transfusions and tests. The only reason they are managing to do this is because their relatives help them. But the doctors have warned them that Sthuthi could fall very sick any time. Only a bone-marrow transplant can guarantee Sthuthi's safe recovery.