“My 6-year-old son, Rajat is obsessed with Superman and Batman. He says he wants to fly like them. But as soon as he tries to run, he gasps for his breath. He sometimes can’t even speak for long and has to lie down even after climbing 2 steps. He always remains too excited for his birthdays. Rajat has already begun planning for his next big day, but I am scared that he will not make it to his seventh birthday without an immediate surgery,” Sushil, Rajat’s father.
Rajat's heart disease was not cured despite 2 surgeries, he does not know why he has to take medicines regularlySushil and Nikita could even name their firstborn for along time as he was in and out of hospitals since birth. He had to undergo two surgeries before he turned 1 year.
But now at 6-years, he needs another surgery to keep his heart from failing.
“My 5-year-old daughter, Sanchi begs his brother to play with him. They are very close to each other and it’s difficult to keep them away even for a while. None of the children know what is Rajat dealing with. My child can’t be like any other normal kid. When we take him to the hospital for routine checkups and give him medicines regularly, he often asks why is it that he has to take the medicines. Nikita often breaks into tears when she has to lie to him about his disease."
Rajat wants to do everything that his friends do, his weak heart is the only hindrance
Little Rajat has a congenital heart disease called truscupid atresia, a condition in which the right ventricle is not present. Due to this condition, his heart is so weak that it can’t pump blood to the rest of the body. He also has a hole in the heart that doesn’t let him eat or sleep or grow well.
“I wonder how children notice every minute difference. He studies in the first standard and we had to talk to his school about not making him do any physical activities or make him walk or run. After a few months of his new session in school, he came back and asked me, ‘Papa, my teachers don’t ask me to do sit-ups as punishment like my friends. Why am I not treated like them?’ It breaks my heart to see how he notices everything that is not usual. I want him to overlook all of these and be happy, but he doesn’t.”
Sushil did not expect his son's previous surgeries to fail, he feels helpless now
Doctors had told him that little Rajat needs a surgery by the time he turns 6. He is almost 7 and his poor father still can’t afford a surgery. The years of medicines, routine checkups, and 2 major surgeries will be meaningless without a surgery at the earliest. Sushil can lose his son at any moment.
“My son wants to run like other children. I want him to have a childhood that he deserves. But I don’t know if he will live long to enjoy his childhood. I have already spent everything that I had saved. I struggle every month to arrange for our food, children’s education and running the household. I have never been able to save money. I always thought that after the two surgeries my son will become better, but that didn’t happen. After 5 years, I am again on the verge of losing my older child.”
With no fixed income, it is impossible for Sushil to save his son
Sushil works as a helper in small clinics. He doesn’t have a fixed job and often struggles to earn in Mathura. He somehow manages to earn almost Rs 7000 a month when he gets work. He has already spent Rs 5 lakhs and he needs another Rs 5 lakhs for Rajat’s surgery this time. He doesn’t have much time left.
Without the surgery, his excitement for his upcoming birthday will become a thing of the past.