“She used to be always excited and full of enthusiasm. She was very active and loved playing games with her friends. One could always find her running around happily.” - Rajni Mali, mother of Aradhana (4).
Aradhana’s disease has caged the spirit of this active young girl. The agile four-year-old used to spend her time playing with friends and having fun. Today, she can’t even move her body, let alone play.
Aradhana suffers from GB Syndrome - an ailment that has left her body paralysed below the neck. She is under intensive medical care. The little girl can’t move her body at all, and even needs a life support system to breathe due to which she is unable to speak. But her little eyes have a lot to say. They express the pain she is going through.
“She loves to talk. She would speak non-stop, reciting poems to me, telling me about her day at school. She is unable to speak now. She would be having so much to say. I can see that on her face,” says Rajni, sobbing.
It had all started when Aradhana complained of leg pain one day and fell down in school due to weakness in her legs . The parents couldn’t understand the cause and medicated her that night. Overnight, the pain spread from Aradhana’s legs to her hands and upper body. Soon, she was unable to get up or even move because she had lost all sensation below the neck. She was rushed to the local hospital, where she was diagnosed with GB Syndrome and the treatment began.
Aradhana's parents were left shocked and in despair. All of a sudden their healthy kid was bedridden, confronting death.
“My Aradhana had always been very active. She’s been a bright kid, good at studies and other activities. She liked to recite poems, paint and dance. She once won a medal for her painting. Today, she can’t even move her body and breathe on her own. Her condition disheartens me,” Rajni shares.
Doctors said she had only a few days left, but the little girl has defied their verdict and continues to battle the deadly disease; however, the battle is a long one yet involving huge costs. Aradhana’s parents are financially unable to bear the hefty expenses but are determined to save their kid’s life. They have accumulated all they could with the help of friends and family, but it's just not enough.
“I’m a daily-wage labourer. I work every day for a few hours and rush to the hospital. Despite my best efforts, I can’t afford the treatment cost; but I can't let my child suffer. We have spent nine lakhs on her treatment so far... we need so much more...” - Umesh, father.
Aradhana requires six doses of IVIG every 15 days, and each dose costs Rs. 15,000.
Rajni, Aradhana’s mother, spends her day outside the PICU and goes out only to buy medicines for her child. She can only hope for the best, as Aradhana is showing slight signs of recovery. But she still has a long way to go to regain her health. She needs to be in the hospital for three months, and further treatment requires urgent funds.
“I’m hopeful. She is recovering slowly and fighting the disease. She tries to move her hands and to eat on her own. But I know this is only temporary if she doesn't stay in the hospital. I don't know what I'm going to do...” says Rajni.
The jolly girl with a bright future now faces death at an age when she can’t understand its meaning. Don’t let the parents' financial condition block Aradhana’s way to a happy childhood. Help her battle death here.