Akhilesh is a 10-year-old with relapsed blood cancer. He now needs a bone-marrow transplant to live. His father, Murugan, a mason from Krishnagiri has sold off everything and taken loans and spent Rs 29 lakhs on treatment so far. He has no money left but needs Rs 28 lakhs to save his son's life.
Murugan is unable to see his son suffer any more
Murugan has not visited Akhilesh in the last five days. The sight of his son ravaged by chemotherapy overwhelms him and he begins sobbing uncontrollably. This makes Akhilesh cry too. His mother Maheswari thinkgs it is best if she remains with Akhilesh and Murugan takes care of things at home. Maheswari hasn't come home in 45 days.
Akhilesh with his mother Maheswari
Akhilesh's younger brother Tarun too, comforts his father and tells him everything will be fine. But Murugan is worried that all that he does may not be enough. He put everything he had into getting Akhilesh chemotherapy last time and it didn't work. Now Murugan fears the worst and has put all his hope in getting his son the bone-marrow transplant.
Weakness that turned out to be a deadly condition
It has been two years since Akhilesh went to school – that is when his ordeal began. It started with vomiting and weakness. His worried parents rushed him to the hospital where blood tests showed he needed immediate blood transfusion. Further tests showed that Akhilesh had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia – a blood cancer.
Murugan with Akhilesh in the hospital
Murugan took Akhilesh to St John's Hospital, Bangalore and got him 6 cycles of chemotherapy. “We spent over 20 lakhs on the treatment. We really felt that Akhilesh would get better. But in just six months, we knew he wasn't healthy like before. That is when we took him to the hospital again,” says Murugan.
This time, the doctors recommended a bone-marrow transplant following 2 cycles of chemotherapy. Akhilesh has finished one cycle so far.
“The chemotherapy has changed Akhilesh so much. His skin is lifeless, and he has mouth ulcers and every time he passes stools, he bleeds. I find it so hard to watch him go through this much pain this early in his life,” explains Murugan.
Tarun, Akhilesh's younger brother is a compatible donor and can donate stem cells to his brother. But the procedure will cost Rs 28 lakhs. Murugan is already neck-deep in debt. There is no way he can raise that amount, but he hopes that God's hand works through someone and he is able to save his child.
Akhilesh and Tarun four years back
Akhilesh wants to live go back to school
Akhilesh is well known in school as a kind, happy student. He is good at studies and bags the coveted 'first-rank' in class. His favourite activity is drawing and Akhilesh is happy that he is able to at least draw despite being sick.
Against all odds, Murugan managed to get his son expensive chemotherapy treatment once. Now he needs urgent help giving Akhilesh a surgery that can save his life.