“Before she got sick, she was a bubbly child who filled our lives with happiness. For poor people like us, children are our only source of joy. My child did not deserve this,” laments Rani’s father Koteswar Rao, a daily-wage labourer in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh.
Rani ran a fever for 40 days, that weakened her body and spiritHow did a vivacious, energetic 4-year-old suddenly become so sick? This was the question that troubled Rani’s parents. “It started as a small fever only. We gave her the usual medicines and thought she had eaten something bad. But it did not go away. It started intensifying and my baby grew weaker,” says Rahellama, her mother.
Rani's parents only know that their daughter is very sickA few trips to the doctor and a detailed diagnosis later, her parents got to know the real cause of Rani’s weakness and it was too much for them to take. “I had heard of people getting cancer and dying, but did not have a fair idea of what it was really until it happened to my child. We did not fully fathom its seriousness until Rani got really, really sick. We kept pleading with the doctors to make her pain go away,” recalls Koteswar Rao.
Rani underwent surgery for her tumour immediately after her diagnosis, but it did little to improve her condition. The cancer did not go away and now she needs a bone marrow transplant. Her parents don’t even know what a transplant is. “The doctors told us that only this big operation would save her. We don’t know what it means but we want to save her,” he adds.