Ayush has been in the ICU for 4 days now. His eyes are open, but he just stares ahead blankly. He can hear his father, Amrutha, calling out to him, but he doesn’t respond. He’s breathing, but his organs are giving up on him. Ayush is just 1 and he’s fighting blood cancer that is spreading rapidly. His liver, lungs, kidneys, and now it has spread even in his brain. What more does this little one have to go through?
“He held on to my finger today…but when I called out to him saying “putta I’m here, look!” he just continued to stare ahead. I still can’t believe what this disease has done to him in just a few days…he doesn’t even recognize me. There’s no feeling worse...”
– Amrutha, father
– Amrutha, father
Amrutha breaks down midsentence. The pain in his voice is evident, the sorrow in his eyes, doesn’t go unnoticed. You can see how hard he’s trying to stay strong - for Ayush, and for his wife, Anupama, who has been inconsolable ever since this deadly diagnosis.
Ayush was unstoppable
Ayush’s blood cancer started off as a fever. In just a few days, though, his stomach started swelling. The cancer had started spreading to his organs, and no one knew until 8 days ago.
“Ayush was unstoppable…he kept us on our toes all the time. He played so much, he even started saying amma and appa! But then he got the fever, the one that changed everything. The first hospital we went to treated him for dengue.”
After 8-9 days in the hospital, Ayush was brought to Bangalore where he was started on chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the cancer had already started affecting his brain. He has been shifted to the ICU since then. He will need to stay in the ICU and continue chemotherapy to survive.
His mother begs to see him, even if it’s for one second
Anupama hasn’t been able to breastfeed Ayush for 4 days now. She has fallen sick and now she can’t even see him. He has very high chances of catching an infection, they just can’t risk it. But all Anupama wants to do is be by her baby’s side while he fights this disease.
“She’s been begging us to let her see him. It makes me so sad watching her like this…she doesn’t eat or sleep. I had to call our relative to be with her because I have to run around for his medicines and bills… she refuses to leave the hospital. She says she will wait here even though she can’t be with him.”
Anupama with Ayush before he was taken to the ICU
He has to fight and survive this disease, but he can’t do it alone
Amrutha works as an English teacher. Anupama is a housewife. They also have an older daughter (8) who is now living with her grandparents in their hometown, Chitradurga. But Amrutha hasn’t gone for work ever since Ayush’s diagnosis and he probably won’t be able to go for the next few months.
“I’m the only earning member of the family. If I stop working….he needs the chemotherapy, it’s the only way he can fight this disease. But I’ve spent all my savings in the past 2 weeks. 3.5 lakhs, it’s all I had! It’s not just about recovering for him, it’s about survival. He has to fight and survive this disease. Even though he’s only 1.”
Ayush has been in the ICU for 4 days now. But he continues to fight. The only way he can survive this disease is with your help. His parents and devastated and helpless. You can be the hope they are looking for.