“After settling hospital bills today, I have exactly Rs 120 in my pocket. Today this will be enough to get us back home. Tomorrow – I have to borrow money from any one who will lend,” says Jayaram, Navneeth's father.
Navneeth is a 2-year-old with a terrible cancer that has spread to multiple organs of his body. He has lost his vision due to a cancerous lump behind his eyes. He needs urgent treatment to beat cancer and regain his vision. His parents Jayaram and Durga need help to save their baby from such a terrible illness.
Navneeth with his parents Durga and Jayaram
Navneeth hasn't fully understood that he is blind and often falls when he tries to walkNavneeth was fine till Diwali. He loved the festivities, lights and playing with all his cousins who were home. It was a few days after that that he started having trouble with his vision. His father noticed it when he threw a paper plane for Navneeth to chase – and Navneeth raced ahead not knowing when to stop.
“I knew that something was not right. He had been feverish the last week. I took him to his usual doctor and even a neurologist. We ended up wasting time and a lot of money that would have helped us now. We finally came to Manipal, Vijaywada – where the doctor caught on as soon as he looked at Navneeth. We even learnt that we could have saved his vision if only we had come sooner,” says Jayaram, still very upset at the delay that cost his son his vision.
Navneeth is taking treatment to beat his cancer and regain his eyesight and health
Navneeth immediately began chemotherapy for Neuroblastoma, cancer in the nerve cells. He has successfully completed two cycles. Because cancer has spread – Navneeth needs intense chemotherapy as well as a surgery to remove large parts of cancerous tumors. Already, Jayaram has needed to borrow heavily from family and he is afraid of stopping treatment which could have terrible consequences.
Navneeth before he fell sick
Navneeth himself is unable to express his loss of vision to his parents. He still tries to do everything he previously could – like talk and shake hands when asked. But it is not the same. His anxiety is growing and he is unable to stop crying when he feels like his parents are not listening to him.
Since losing his vision, Navneeth always wants his mother or father around
“Because he can't see, either me or his mother always has to be around him. Navneeth – this happy child who loved meeting people – has become wary and only our presence makes him feel safe. He recognises people's step and voices and knows who it is, but now he hesitates,” says Jayaram.
Navneeth is his parents' only child and at an age when children are full of energy and enthusiasm, Navneeth has been confused by his sudden blindness. He is completely dependent on his parents to take care of him – now more than before.
Navneeth with his mother
The medicines make him sleepy in the day and active at night. Navneeth wakes up in the evening expecting to play and frolic. His parents both sit with him a few hours each making sure he is all right. Sleep is elusive for these troubled parents any way.
How you can helpNavneeth's father Jayaram has only studied till class 12 and now makes a living as a salesman. His salary is too meager to keep up his baby's treatment. Navneeth is this couple's only child and they are willing to do anything to save him. The only thing beyond their control is arranging for funds.
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