“I think about the days how my neighbors and relatives admired and played every single day with my baby. My home used to be filled with the laughter of my son. But he is not home now. My 4-month-old has a rare disease and he is fighting for his life is in the hospital. Even though his health is deteriorating by each passing day his smile hasn’t faded. He is showing so much courage at this tender age that it gives me hope but I don't know how we are going to save him,” - Sumalatha, Partha Sarathi’s mother.
The fatal disease has left the family devastatedWhen Partha was born Sumalatha and Manohar were overjoyed and they were even more happy to see how their 4-year-old son has a new brother to play with. They wanted to share their happiness with their relatives and friends by serving dinner to them. But their poverty-stricken life only allowed them to bring home a small cake. The couple were deeply hurt and have promised their newborn that they will work their hands to bones to give him a better life. Even before they got a chance to work on their vows, their little baby is fighting the biggest battle of a human life, death.
“When our baby just turned into his fourth month, he suffered high fever. With the advice of a local doctor, I have used the medicines for 10 days. But his condition only worsened. We immediately rushed him to a private hospital in Chennai. We were told that he was suffering from a rare disorder, we were shocked. We never expected a small baby could ever get such a deadly disease. The world shattered around us when we realized that our child will not live long without urgent treatment. My husband rushed back to our village and borrowed a huge sum of money to admit in the hospital.” - Sumalatha.
This fatal disease will fail Partha’s organs without urgent transplantLittle Partha is suffering from Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare and severe form of blood cancer. It is an aggressive and life-threatening syndrome of excessive immune activation which has the potential to damage the organs of the body. He urgently needs intense chemotherapy for four months and a bone marrow transplant. Without this immediate medical attention, this baby will not live long. The baby's liver has already been affected and his liver started to enlarge.
“His gums bleed so profusely that he undergoes blood transfusion every week. His platelet count has come down drastically. At night, when he constantly cries in pain I cannot bear to see his suffering. And on the other hand, my elder son cries daily on call to see his little brother and me. My husband couldn’t help but leave me alone with our sick child and pacify our 4-year-old son.” - Sumalatha.
Sumalatha and her husband with their elder son
This poor family were unprepared for the unfortunate situation and cannot save their son without helpManohar is the sole bread earner of the family. He works as a helper in a small bakery and earns only Rs 8,000 a month. With this little income, he struggles to feed his family. The expenses of the treatment have overburdened his shoulders. The family cannot afford the life-saving transplant and need 17 lakhs to save their baby.
“Feeding our children has always been a daily challenge to my husband and me. We were not prepared for this unfortunate situation. We have tried doing everything that we could to help our son but with my husband’s minimal income, we are barely able to afford a bed in the hospital for him. We have also borrowed a huge sum of money for the medical tests. We have spent Rs 50,000 till now and have exhausted everything we had. Now we are left with nothing but empty hands to pray, please help us save our son.” - Sumalatha.