As Lakshmi sits by her window and watches girls from her class walking to school or making their way to the corner shop for ice cream, she wonders when she will ever go back to her normal life. Once an active, school going girl, Lakshmi has now isolated herself from her friends and hardly leaves her house.
She often reminisces about the months before her condition deteriorated. Since January, all she waited for is to complete her class 10 board exams, but little did she know then that her exams were the smallest of her hurdles. In the weeks leading up to her exams, Lakshmi started feeling a little uneasy. Her parents- Meeramma and Nagappa thought it was due to stress, but soon, even walking a few steps made her breathless. Now, Lakshmi can hardly get up from her bed without help because of her severely deformed spine.
Lakshmi's life began changing one year ago - she went from being an active, healthy teenager to nearly bedridden Lakshmi had a normal childhood until one year ago when suddenly, she started limping. Her parents soon noticed that her walk and stance had changed, and her back started curving to one side. Lakshmi was soon diagnosed with congenital scoliosis, a curvature of the spine caused by abnormalities in the vertebral development. She needs a spinal correction surgery to prevent her spine from curving further and affecting her growth and internal organs. If left untreated, it can damage her heart and lungs, and cause severe deformity.
“She was healthy and normal until a year ago when her back started bending. As the days went by, it only got worse. The other day she woke up and tried to get out of bed on her own. I was in the kitchen and suddenly heard a loud scream. I ran to her room to find her weeping in bed because no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn't get up on her own. Lakshmi is in pain and the inability to do anything on her own frustrates her. Now when she wakes up, she has to call out to me so I can help her get up from the bed.” – Meeramma, mother
Now, Lakshmi can't go back to school and has isolated herself from everyoneLakshmi now can’t go back to school. Her deteriorating health and the pain of her deformed spine makes it unbearable for her to walk for long. When Meeramma asks her to go back to school, she says “no amma, what will the other girls say about me?” The defect is not only affecting her physical ability but is also breaking her spirit.
“My husband and I are not educated. All we wanted is for our children to go to school and have a chance of a better future than us. But now everything is at a standstill. It’s so upsetting to see my daughter slip into depression.”
Her parents are struggling to make ends meet, her surgery is much more than they can affordMeeramma and Nagappa are both daily wagers who work on other’s farms for a few hundreds a day. However, their work is irregular. On some days, they return home completely empty-handed despite looking for work all day.
Meeramma and Nagappa struggle to keep their family of four afloat, and with Lakshmi’s deteriorating condition, all they worry about is their dire lack of funds standing in her way of recovery. The desperate parents need your help to afford Lakshmi’s surgery and save her from the misery of her spinal defect.
How You Can Help
If not for her deformed spine, Lakshmi could’ve started class 11 and had a bright future ahead of her. Now, without surgery, Lakshmi will not only have to live with a deformed spine, but her internal organs are also at risk. Lakshmi needs surgery in the next few weeks to be able to overcome this monumental hurdle. Unfortunately, her parents don’t have the means to afford 5 lakhs for her surgery. They need your help to save their daughter from this agonising pain.