A disease unknown to them - how Thalassemia has taken over their livesSumitra and Sreenivas had never heard of Thalassemia before his diagnosis. This blood disease leads to fewer than normal red blood cells in the body and low hemoglobin. Children with this disease often experience fatigue, weakness and slow growth. Dayananda too gets weak every 15 days, for which he needs blood transfusions.
“Every time we take him to get blood, we meet parents whose children are also suffering from the same disease. We didn’t know how dangerous it is until then. The disease hasn't broken his spirit, but sometimes he's too weak to even smile.” – Sumitra, mother.
While blood transfusions are keeping him going till now, it’s not enough. Regular transfusions lead to an iron buildup in the body which then affects vital organs like the liver, pancreas, heart etc. The only curative treatment is a bone marrow transplant. His younger brother is a matched donor.
Dayananda a few days after his blood transfusion - it keeps him active for 15 to 20 days
Draught and this deadly disease have left the parents helplessFor the past 3 years, Sumitra and Sreenivas have spent a minimum of Rs. 2,500 every month on his treatment. Adding to their distress, their hometown near Davanagere, Karnataka hasn’t received ample rainfall in 3 years – making it difficult for them to grow anything on their small piece of land. It’s their only source of income.
“Two years ago my husband decided that we couldn’t go on like this. Farming wasn’t enough to take care of the house and our son's medical bills. He started studying to become a lawyer and started practicing just 6 months ago. We’ve spent more than we could afford over the past few years on his treatment. The transplant is beyond our means.”