“My Bhrigu loved riding the bike with me. When he started talking, he used to point to the bike and say ‘papa...bike’. For his 3rd birthday in December, my wife, Babita and I decided to plan a trip to the mountains near our village. We knew he would love it. But even before this birthday arrived, we had to admit him to the hospital to treat his cancer. Bhrigu still asks him ‘papa...bike’ but I cannot take him. I am here struggling to pay for this next day’s treatment.”- Hari, Bhrigu’s father.
Hari and Babita live in a village in Assam. Hari runs a small stationery shop. He couldn’t save much and but his income was sufficient to support the family’s needs. He never missed an opportunity to take his wife and son for short trips on his bike. His family meant the world to him and he wanted to work hard for them.
Two months ago, little Bhrigu developed recurrent fevers that didn’t go away for a week.
Worried, his parents took him to the hospital where the doctor suggested blood tests. Both Hari and Babitha were present when the doctor looked the report. Hari saw the doctor’s expression change and he knew something was wrong. The doctor explained to them that the reports are not looking good and asked them to immediately shift him to a hospital with better facilities.
Bhrigu a few months after birth
Another round of blood tests at the new hospital confirmed that Little Bhrigu has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia- A type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects white blood cells. Hari spent all this savings to get Bhrigu admitted for treatment.
Once an active child, 2-year-old Bhrigu now has to stay in the cancer wardAfter two months in the cancer ward, Bhrigu has changed a lot. For a child who was active and loved to play outside, two months of hospital stay with painful injections was very stressful. Every time a doctor or a nurse enter the ward to look at him, the poor kid holds his mother close in fear.
“I cannot take my baby out of the ward because has a high risk of catching infections. We take turns to carry him and tell him stories to keep him distracted from pain. He loves the stories about waterfalls and mountains. He asks me to repeat the same story always. I know my poor boy remembers the time we took him to see a waterfall for the first time.”- Hari