Lakshmi is woken up by Tejashwini’s (15) painful groans as she shuffles around in bed in the middle of the night. She then hands her a sip of water, not more, as she knows that even an extra sip can be dangerous. Tejashwini sits up in bed, feeling light-headed. Her entire body is in severe pain, and the throbbing in her head doesn’t stop. After an hour of struggling, she falls asleep again – this has been Tejashwini’s life ever since she was diagnosed with end-stage kidney and pancreas failure one year ago. She is weak, tired and can hardly eat or drink anything anymore. Even her water consumption is monitored.
Lakshmi is heartbroken watching her only child suffer so much.
“She hasn’t gone to school in a year. Every time her friends call or come to visit her, she asks me when she can go back. All she wants to do is study and become an engineer. But all she can do is stay at home, lying in bed when she doesn’t have to go to the hospital for her dialysis. She’s determined to get better, but her body is giving up on her. Her kidneys and pancreas have failed. She needs two new organs to survive. She doesn’t have long without it.” – Lakshmi, mother
Lakshmi and Tejashwini have never had an easy life, but they stayed strong for each otherTejashwini was only a 2-year-old baby when her father passed away in a tragic road accident.
Ever since then, her mother has been everything to her. Lakshmi knew that she had to stay strong for her only daughter no matter what, and she brought her up with the same courage. Tejashwini, though, hasn’t had an easy life. She was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 11-years-old and has been on insulin ever since.
“She had learnt to live with the disease, without sweets and chocolates. After a year, she got used to it and didn’t ask me for much. All her attention was on her studies. When she was at home, she spent her time doing paper craft or recycling a bottle at home. She would say ‘amma I will get a good job one day and take care of you’. I felt so proud of the person she was growing up to be. But suddenly in June last year, she fell terribly ill. I didn’t know that it would change our lives once again.”
Two of her vital organs have failed, she’s running out of time without treatment
Last June, when Tejashwini had just started going to class 10, she fell sick. She had a high fever and severe stomach ache. The pain remained for a few days, and when she was taken to the doctor, Lakshmi received the most shocking news – her daughter’s kidneys were failing. She was immediately started on dialysis, and continues to go twice a week even now. However, it isn’t enough to save her life. Tejashwini needs a kidney and pancreas transplant to survive. Both her organs have failed and without help, she won’t make it.
With help from her brother, Lakshmi has managed the treatment so far – but 15 Lakhs is beyond her means
Lakshmi has managed to continue Tejashwini’s education with her older brother’s help. Ever since her husband passed away, he has been her constant support. Her husband was a daily wager working on others’ farms near Mandya, Karnataka, and they couldn’t afford to save much, and ever since Tejashwini fell sick, Lakshmi has been struggling to get by.
“My brother has helped me start her treatment, but there’s only so much he can do. He has three children of his own to look after. He can’t afford the 15 lakhs needed for her transplant. This is her only chance to live. She’s everything to me, and I can’t imagine losing her.”
How You Can Help
Tejashwini understands how serious her condition is, and feels herself getting weaker every day. There are days when all she can do is lie down, while her mother sits beside her reading out her favourite book to her. Tejashwini is ambitious and dedicated, she wants to work hard and do well to support her mother. Unfortunately, her kidneys and pancreas have failed. The only thing that can save her is a transplant – but Lakshmi, a single mother, is helpless. You can help save Tejashwini and give her a chance of a healthy life.