4 year old Aseela has just started school. Like most children her age, Aseela is extremely excited about going to school. It's just her third week, and she loves learning her lessons, playing with her new friends, and just being a child. But there is something that's holding her back from being a normal child. Aseela suffers from thalassemia major.
Aseela was born in Erode, Tamil Nadu, to her ecstatic parents, 11 years after the birth of her brother. Their happiness however didn't last long. When Aseela was 4 months of age, her parents noticed how pale she was. She also vomitted anything she consumed. Her worried parents rushed her to the hospital in Erode. The doctors asked them to complete various tests on the baby. The tests revealed that Aseela had an extremely low count of blood and immediately required transfusions. To this day, she requires transfusions on a monthly basis.
A friend of Aseela's relatives told the family to take her to Mehta Hospital in Chennai, where they would better diagnose her condition. The friend personally recommended the hospital as their own son had a blood disorder and was given timely medical care by the doctors here. Once the family took Aseela to the hospital, they were asked to conduct a bone marrow test on the baby. However, Aseela had to undergo several bone marrow tests in order to determine what was wrong. The parents too were asked to get themselves tested and see if there was anything wrong with them. Their tests revealed that they both had thalassemia minor; this defect was suspected to have led to Aseela's condition. However, the doctors were still not able to confirm Aseela's illness
The parents were then asked to take the baby to Dr. Revathi Raj, at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai. The doctor ran a few more tests on Aseela and produced the horrific diagnosis – the child was suffering from thalassemia major.
Immediately, a number of medical treatments were considered. Dr. Revathi Raj told them to go to Masonic Children's Hospital in Coimbatore in the meantime for Aseela's monthly blood transfusions. Blood transfusions are just a temporary solution for thalassemia; a permanent solution is bone marow transplant. For this, a bone marrow donor is required. The procedure to find a donor included testing Aseela's older brother to see if he could be a potential match. Unfortunately, he wasn't a match, and neither were the parents.
The blood transfusions continued. While they provided temporary relief, a permanent solution was required. Dr. Revathi Raj then checked for potential donors for Aseela. She soon found 3 matching donors.
While the donors are ready, the procedure for the bone marrow transplant is yet to be completed. This is because the transplant will cost Rs. 35 lakhs, and the family cannot afford it. Aseela's father is a coolie at a cycle workshop and her mother is a seamstress, who works from home. Their elder son is in Std. IX. The family is back in Erode from Chennai, and Aseela is continuing with the monthly blood transfusions.
How you can help
The family has already spent their savings on the blood transfusions and are now facing a severe financial crunch. Says Aseela's mother, Sharmila, “We need a permanent solution for our daughter. It pains us to see her in this condition, and we just want her to live the life of a child. She often complains of body aches and loss of appetite.”
Your help will support Aseela receive the transplant she so desperately requires. Contribute now and help Aseela know life as a normal child.