My son is just 6-year-old. As a father, all I want is to see my child playing around the house, maybe throw a tantrum with childish demands. But instead, what I get to see is him lying on the hospital bed with needles piercing his skin for blood transfusions every month. It is a sight I would not wish on any parent.
I am Maninder Jolly, father to 6-year-old Ekam Jolly. When my son was just a year old, the unthinkable happened. The doctors to whom I was took him for a minor cough and cold, diagnosed him with something that would change all our lives.
My son had Thalassemia major, a disorder where his body did not produce normal blood cells. To compensate for his body's inability to produce healthy blood, my child needs painful blood transfusions every month.
"Every month my son has to undergo painful transfusions to live"
I have to take my son to the hospital every month for blood transfusions. Without these transfusions, my child becomes pale and listless. He hardly has any energy to get out of the bed or even eat his food.
He goes to school now, but every month, he misses multiple classes for his routine hospital visit. He is too young to be so brave. Even at this young age it is our pain and worry that bothers him most. In his most painful moments, he can't help but wonder why can't he be just like his other friends?
BMT is the only way to make it all go awayDoctors tell us that now is the perfect time for Ekam to get a bone-marrow transplant that will end his Thalassemia for good. His mother is a match to be a donor. The doctors have scheduled the transplant November. While scared at the prospect of our son undergoing a transplant, we understand the urgency of it. It is our one hope of giving our son a better life.
Everything seems to be in place other than the one major obstacle -- money. I work in a private company and am the only earning member of the family. For past five years, we have been spending Rs 30,000 per month on our son's treatment. We have no savings left.
The surgery will cost Rs 15 lakhs and it is beyond our financial means to arrange for such a huge amount. But there is no other option, I have to get the money. Otherwise, I am all but shoving my son in a life of pain and misery.