10-year-old twins, Shruthi (left) and Smrithi( right) are the best of friends. Today, one lies in the ICU fighting for her, while the other desperately waits for her to come home. This story is written from Smrithi’s perspective.
We were fighting for remote. I kept pulling it from her hand because I wanted to watch some other channel. Suddenly she just fell down. I thought she was acting to make Amma scold me. Shruthi started shaking. I got very scared and screamed for Amma. They came running. It is the first time I saw Amma cry. They left me with neighbour aunty and went to the hospital.
"Shruthi had seizures from autoimmune encephalitis. Her immune system has been attacking her brain. She has a swelling in the brain and needed to be in the ICU on ventilator support. She was sedated for 2 months until she could heal. She was receiving food and medicines through IV and TPN. After 2 months, when she woke up, she could not talk or walk. She has been in the hospital for 6 months. We are in constant fear of losing her." - Balachandar (father)
I had to wait 1 week to see her. Shruthi and I always eat together, sleep together, play together go to school together. It was scary sleeping in the room without her. I thought she must be scared in the hospital. When Amma took me I was scared to sit with Shruthi. So many tubes were in her. I tried talking, but she did not even open her eyes. On our birthday, October 3rd, I blew the candles in the hospital wishing she would wake up. When she woke up I said she could have the remote forever. She just saw me and cried.
Shruthi had started walking. She used to hold me and walk when I told her about everything that happened at school. The doctor said I can make her better. I even know every medicine she has to take. I thought she will be discharged but again she is in ICU.
"Just as she was recovering, Shruthi caught an infection. She needs intensive care with antibiotics for a few more weeks. We have already spent Rs. 20 lakhs over the past 6 months. We need another Rs. 6 lakhs to save her. She has a good chance of recovery if she completes the treatment. Both my daughters are in pain. If we lose Shruthi, I don't know how the rest of us will survive." - Balachandar (father)
This disease is taking its toll on both the twins- You can help themThe twin's father Balachandar works as a salesman in a private company. Shruthi's sudden diagnosis has turned everything upside down. His insurance covered only 7 lakhs, and now he has exhausted all his savings and sold their jewellery. He had to borrow the remaining from his colleagues and friends. Shruthi needs to stay in ICU for a few more days and needs 6 lakh more but there is nothing more he can possibly do to continue her treatment.
"Appa says you can help save my sister. Please? I want to bring her home again." - Smrithi