"My son is the only hope in my life. He has seen me struggling all alone to raise him after his father left us. I was determined to raise him with all my strength, but it wasn't easy. At a young age, he decided to work to support me. While all his friends went to college, he worked as a tractor driver. He used to come home very late but never complained. He does not buy anything for himself now, he gives all his wages to me. But everything changed when he fell ill, both his kidneys have failed and doctors have said that only a transplant can save his life." - Muthamma, Mother of Venkatesh.
Venkatesh was hopeful about his future but now his life is on the line and he is unable to do anything about it24-year-old Venkatesh lives with his mother in a village near Salem. He grew up as a very active and fun-loving boy. He had a lot of friends and he did exceptionally well in his school. But after his father left, he changed completely. It left deep scars in him and he could not see his mother struggling all alone. He started working at a very young age and was hopeful that someday he would be able to pay back all outstanding loans his mother took over the years. But now all his hopes are destroyed by a life-threatening disease.
"One day, his hands were swollen so much because of work, that it didn't reduce for a week. It was then I came to know that he was working two shifts. When the swelling did not subside at all, I forced him to go to hospital. When he came back, he told me it was an insect bite and went to bed. He did not eat anything. I knew something was wrong - he was very sad and I could see tears welling up in his eyes. Then I took him to a hospital in Salem, doctors told me his kidneys have failed and he needs dialysis every week. I almost fainted on hearing it." - Muthamma.
Venkatesh needs an urgent kidney transplant as dialysis cannot help him survive anymoreVenkatesh has been on dialysis for more than 3 years and the pain he is going through cannot be described in words. He travels all alone to the hospital every week for the dialysis, which is 250 kms away from his village. He has lost all his energy and he is hardly able to speak. He has become too weak that even walking few steps make him feel very dizzy. He was surviving on dialysis all these days, but now it also poses the risk of high urea concentration. Only a kidney transplant can save his life and every passing day is a risk on his life without the transplant.
"There is no one to support us. Sometimes his friends take him in their vehicle to the hospital but he feels bad to bother anyone. He goes in the bus all alone and when he comes back, he sleeps for long hours. He sometimes cries and says that he is a burden for everybody. How will any mother think her son to be a burden? but he feels guilty for not able to go for work. Once we did not have money for the dialysis and he became so weak, he could not even get up from bed. He fainted twice. He became a little better only after the dialysis." - Muthamma.
Poor mother cannot afford the life-saving transplant and they do not have money to buy even medicinesPoor Muthamma, who is physically and emotionally exhausted is struggling all alone to save her son's life. She has a poor health and age-related problems do not let her do any hard work but she is trying to do all odd jobs to save her son. She felt relieved when doctors told that she is a matching donor for the kidney transplant, but hearing the cost of the treatment she was shattered completely.
An old photograph of Venkatesh
"Not even once I have accompanied my son to the hospital for the dialysis because the tickets cost Rs 500 and we can't afford so much money. We have a cow, and I sell milk to my neighbors. We live with whatever little money we get by selling milk. Tablets alone costs Rs 12,000 per month, how can I earn so much money? My son is dying in front of my eyes, I wish God had chosen me instead, but now I'm not able to do anything for my son." - Muthamma.