Four. That’s how old my son is. He should be running around the house turning it upside down, giving my wife and me a hard time with his little tantrums, and fighting with his older brother for toys. Instead, he is tired, drugged, reacting to a lot of side effects from chemotherapy, because his tiny body is being tormented by cancer. His will is strong, so is ours and we are not ready to let him go. We will fight and make sure we save our son. All we need is your support.
This was once a happy family
I’m Shriman, a civil engineer from Coimbatore. I live with my wife, Geetha, sons Shri Sudarshan and Shri Niranjan. We were once a happy family, but it feels like a long time ago. Niranjan used to love going to school just like his brother who is in high school. They’d come back home with such animated stories of what had happened the entire day. Now its just him being aggravated at the thought of his chemo sessions.
“My older son does not ask for anything. He has understood what is going on. He has sacrificed everything for his brother. We visit home every 2-3 weeks. Even then, he does not express how much he has missed us. He takes good care of Niranjan and keeps saying that everything will be alright.”
He is struggling to find the light
One day, Niranjan came home and looked very dull. It was quite odd, so we checked his temperature and noted that he had a fever. By the next day, he seemed to have a swelling in his throat on the right side. I took him to a pediatrician, who suspected it may be tonsillitis and gave him antibiotics. Within 4 days, we noticed a swelling had developed on the left side as well. He was finding it difficult to breathe, and even his voice had changed. In two weeks, there was a thick gel like mucus running down his nose with blood in it. We could tell he was struggling to breathe.
“On the good days, Niranjan is extremely playful. Even in the hospital, he sits with his puzzle and building blocks. He smiles at the staff. He does not stay idle even for a minute. But, the chemo, it irritates him so much that he cries and screams sometimes. The landlady explained to us that he cannot explain the irritation – it makes him want to hit someone or something.”
Days passed by and there was no prognosis
We went back to the doctor who suggested that he continue medicines for a few more days. It was not helping. In fact, Niranjan stopped eating because he could not swallow. He began turning blue as he could not breathe. My wife and I rushed him to an ENT pediatric surgeon who suspected it may be TB and ran a few tests. The tests showed an anomaly that suggested he may have cancer.
We consulted the pediatric oncologist. He performed a biopsy to confirm. The tumors had to be removed. We were in the hospital for over 15 days. They were very vague in their answers and did not help us in any way when we asked for a prognosis. In fact, they said we had to keep Niranjan in the ICU for 45 days. Without knowing what was happening, we were not ready to take the risk, so we moved him to Kanchi Kamakoti.
There is a chance, he will survive
Here, we understood that Niranjan’s condition was extremely critical. He has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL T-cell), which is extremely aggressive and the treatment has to begin almost immediately. Niranjan finished his 3rd cycle of Chemotherapy and will be starting his 4th cycle. He has been responding well. There are so many side effects. Doctors say it is common. But every time we have to admit him, it takes a toll on his body and mind.“I had to quit my job in Coimbatore since my wife and I have to stay with our son in Chennai for the treatment. We also had to leave our older son with relatives. In Chennai, we are renting out a place that is close to the hospital. The landlady’s husband had cancer, so she helps us understand what our child is going through.”
Your support is crucial to my son’s recovery
“I’m currently looking for a job in Chennai. We have to stay in Chennai for the foreseeable future as Niranjan’s treatment will go on for a few years. Back at home, the company I used to work for has shut down, so this is my only choice. I have not been able to find anything yet. Going to work again will definitely help me with these medical expenses.”
My father has helped us so far with the medical expenses. I also took out a few loans and spent all the savings we had. In 10 days, we spent close to Rs. 8 Lakhs when Niranjan was in the ICU. Further treatment has been estimated to cost Rs. 10 Lakhs and we have no other resources now.
“It was so painful when his hair started falling. His face sunk, and he kept asking ‘Why is my hair falling daddy? What is wrong with me?’ His is already in so much pain. We did not want him to suffer more, so we shaved his head.”
No 4-year-old should be going through this terrible situation. If you meet my son, you’ll understand how brave he has been. Please help him kick cancer out of his life and win this fight.
Supporting DocumentsThe specifics of this case have been verified by the medical team at the concerned hospital. For any clarification on the treatment or associated costs, contact the campaign organizer or the medical team.
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