The train was so crowded that we had to sit on the floor with our wailing babyBaby Priyansh was then diagnosed with heart disease - a defect in the veins leading from the lungs to the heart. He also has high blood pressure that affects the arteries of the lungs and heart. The doctors near their hometown asked them to take their baby to a bigger hospital immediately – their baby needed surgery.
“We took him to Secunderabad. The train was so crowded and we had to sit on the floor the entire way. Priyansh cried a lot that night. We wrapped him in our warmest blankets, hoping he would make it through the journey.” – Sandhyarani
However, Pinku had only the Rs. 4000 that he had borrowed. This wasn’t enough for even the tests, and he soon realized that he has no way to afford the surgery. They were left with no option but to go back to their village – without Priyansh getting the heart surgery he needs.
Forced to take their baby back home without surgery, they live in fear of losing him at any momentPinku and Sandhyarani are from Odisha, but Pinku works in Chennai in a rice mill. After their wedding, he took Sandhyarani with him to Chennai. He earns around Rs. 300-350 per day, but ever since his baby’s diagnosis one month ago, he hasn’t gone for work. They’re both back in Odisha, struggling to find a way to afford the surgery.
“I might not have a job to go back to. There’s not much work available where we are right now. And even then, I just won’t be able to afford 6 lakhs. It’ll take a lifetime to make that kind of money. Who will give an uneducated man a well paying job? And my son doesn’t have that long. He needs the surgery soon.” – Pinku