Tanisha Ghosh, after turning 2, got a high fever one day and became extremely dull and unresponsive. Sensing this sudden shift in their daughter’s behavior and worried for her health, Taraknath and his wife, Toushima, took their daughter to the hospital. There, upon running the tests, her platelets count showed a major drop. Tanisha needed immediate hospitalization. After admission, her bone marrow was tested, and she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; a severe form of blood cancer. Since then, baby Tanisha has been under constant observation and intense treatment for cancer.
Tanisha was a very cheerful and active kid. Leukaemia could do little to dampen her spirits, but her weak state doesn’t let her be the same energetic kid she used to be. Chemotherapy has gradually made her very irritable. Even getting her to cooperate with the medical staff to run the tests is a task, since this little girl is jittery from all the treatment she receives. Her agitation has worsened to a point where she no longer keeps her IV cannula in place and all the drugs have to be administered via the Hickman line, which is an IV line that connects to the central venous system of the patient.
“She hates sitting through those sessions. So many times she’s tried to rip the cannula off, that we’ve had to get her a Hickman line for her treatment.”
Tanisha has been hospitalized for about 6 months now, with chemotherapy sessions scheduled on alternate days. These sessions make her irritable and she’s always in a lot of pain. Her parents feel helpless looking at their daughter’s condition. For over 6 months now, Tanisha hasn’t left the hospital, hasn’t played like she used to do. It’s a cruel thing to happen to a child.
Although she doesn’t understand why she’s been kept in the hospital, she hates the environment of the hospital and longs to just run around and play, just like any other child her age. Amidst all this chaos that she doesn’t understand, Tanisha smiles sometimes when her pain isn’t overpowering her. These are the moments when Taraknath and Toushima, are truly happy, but being adults they understand that if Tanisha doesn’t get the treatment she needs, her smiles will only be in their memory. They’re ready to go to any lengths to get her cured of cancer, but their financial condition is proving to be the biggest roadblock.
Taraknath works as a contract laborer with a small firm that manufactures gates and grills. He makes about Rs 4000 a month and his wife is a homemaker who takes care of their ailing daughter and other household chores. Between the both of them, they're fighting tooth and nail to save their daughter from cancer.
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