“It started only as a mere palpitation when he used to play a lot or run. Now even walking makes my 14-year-old Akash struggle to breathe. He doesn’t have a normal life. His siblings go to school, they play. But he no longer can do any of this. He doesn’t feel like a normal teenager anymore.” - SunitaAkash, like any other child, was down with a fever a while ago. The parents gave him OTC medicines and hoped he would get better. What they do not know is that it was rheumatic fever, that ended up damaging his heart. Now, Akash is clinging to life, while his parents are struggling to understand how it all happened.
Money no longer is important for education, but to save Akash’s lifeJoginder and Sunita live in a small house in a village in Uttar Pradesh with their 4 children. Akash has just completed his secondary education and Joginder was working even harder so that he can study further. They have now spent whatever they had to save their son.
"3 years ago, I noticed that Akash was struggling to go about his daily routine. Every activity leaves him short of breath. We took him to the doctor, and discovered that he has rheumatic heart disease, a condition where the valves are defective. This doesn’t let proper blood flow in his body, leaving him breathless and tired." - Sunita
The wait to get funds has only made him sickerSince then, Joginder has taken his son to several doctors to find a way so that Akash can live longer without a surgery. He has been on medicines for 3 years, which has only delayed and worsened his condition. While the parents feel that he looks healthier sometimes, his heart is at a high risk of failure. Without a surgery, Akash has little time to live.
“I work in a factory and Sunita takes care of the children. Now we have to travel from UP to Delhi and return on the same day because we can’t afford to stay in Delhi. A lot of money goes in our travel expense. We don’t have an option. My other 3 children stay at home alone when we’re away. I never let my oldest daughter, Payal, enter the kitchen for all these years. Now, she has to cook and care for her siblings." - Joginder
The parents never understood Akash's growth stopped because of his heartAkash’s failing heart is affecting his development. He is not growing, nor is he putting on weight like a normal child. While his parents believe that he is eating well, they cannot afford the quality and quantity of food he needs to fight his ill health. This is only making him sicker with every passing day.
How you can helpAkash's valves will give up even before Joginder can arrange enough money to travel to the hospital. A surgery can save his life. This surgery is estimated to cost Rs. 3.5 Lakhs, an amount that is unimaginable for someone like Joginder.
“I make about Rs. 5000/month as a laborer. At the end of every month, it is a surprise if we have Rs. 100 left. With this, I could only take my son to government hospitals so far. Now, I know he needs a surgery and there is no better place to get him this treatment. I know the amount looks less. For me, even Rs. 10000 is a lot. I need help to save my son." - Joginder
Your support would give Akash a fighting chance.