“I saw blood in the toilet. He had forgotten to flush again. That’s how we got to know that he is sick.” – Samim9-year-old Shaheed was seemingly healthy until his parents noticed that he was urinating blood and even bleeding from his gums. They had no reason to worry about his fatigue and fever before, and now they have just 2 days left to save his life.
Shaheed's condition was already critical and they had to travel in unreserved compartmentShaheed has aplastic anemia. While his blood count is seriously low, he also has an infection. His body is unable to fight the infection or replenish blood lost through all the bleeding. He was in a critical condition when the family was referred to a hospital in Bangalore for a bone marrow transplant.
“Yasmin and I did not even waste a minute. We went straight home, grabbed our things, borrowed money from neighbors and left. It was a 29-hour journey in an overcrowded train from Malda to Bangalore. All I could think of is that the infection will just get worse and kill my son before we reach.” – SamimAn old photo of Shaheed at the zoo
Shaheed, despite his weakness, feels like the hospital is a vacationShaheed and his younger sister went through a whole panel of blood tests. She is a match, and can donate her bone marrow. Sadly, the children are unaware of the situation. They are stressed and frustrated watching their parents cry. Nothing is telling them anything but just whisking them here and there for tests. All Shaheed understands is that he has a fever.
“He is a happy child. He is excited to travel so far. It is like a vacation, and the hospital feels like a hotel to Shaheed. He gets to eat thrice a day and choose from a menu sometimes. Both of them get to watch TV. I cannot tell them the truth.” - Yasmin
Shaheed has 2 days for the transplant as his body is giving upThe truth, as Samim puts it, is the fact that Shaheed does not have much time left. He is losing so much blood that he needs blood transfusions almost every day. He is very weak, and has a severe infection that could take his life.
“Right now he is completely bedridden. He understands anemia. He is not afraid of blood. Samim and my daughter are staying in a rented room with laborers from our town. I’m afraid Shaheed will go to sleep and never wake up again.” – Yasmin
They have no money left to pay for Shaheed's transplantThe transplant is scheduled to happen in 2 days. Samim has mortgaged a small piece of his land for Rs. 70,000. He and Yasmin are not eating more than one meal a day. There is no more money left to pay for the treatment that will cost them Rs. 12 lakhs.
“We are trying to keep both our children alive here. If I can’t afford food, then even my daughter’s life will be in danger. The doctors have told us that we need to be very careful even after the transplant is over - protect Shaheed from infections. If we don't have the money, we won't be able to provide the right kind of care - his disease might come back. I have no one else to turn to but you all - please help.”
Shaheed is strong. It is probably why this disease has not broken him already. If he does not get this transplant in 2 days, he will lose his life . Your contribution can certainly save this family from a lot of grief.