"I have made the hard choice to stay in Kolar with my ailing mother and children, while my wife is battling for her life back in Bangalore. If I leave everything and rush to her side, then we wouldn't have had even a rupee to pay for my children's school fees or my mother's medication or even the chemotherapy sessions for Chaithra so far. It is heartbreaking, but I see no other way out."
35-year old Chaithra was in the pink of her health except for a chronic back pain for which she received prolonged treatment. One night, while she was asleep, Chaithra ended up with a fractured arm and this turned her world upside down. Initially treated for calcium deficiency, Chaitra received the most shocking diagnosis - Cancer. Although she went through chemotherapy, the doctor has advised her to go through a bone marrow transplant as it is the only option to help her get better.
We spoke to Chaithra's husband, Prashanth, to gather more information on their background. Here's what he had to say.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?We are from a small village 5 kilometers further from Kolar. I have a Xerox shop here. I live with Chaithra, our two young daughters (Mahalakshmi and Nagapriya), and my elderly mother. My daughters go to a school in the village. Mahalakshmi is in 5th standard, and Priya is in 1st standard. My mother is a heart patient. She fell very ill recently, so Chaithra and I do everything possible to make her comfortable. Chaithra and I take care of the shop. At the max, after paying rent and other expenditure for the shop, we make around Rs. 4000 a month on an average.
When did you first notice any symptoms?We didn't, and that's part of the problem. Chaithra takes care of the shop with me. She first complained of a backache and we assumed it was due to the long hours she spent there. At first, she got treated by a local doctor. When that did not help, I sent her to Bangalore where she was diagnosed with calcium deficiency. She stayed at her mother's place as she underwent treatment.
My mother-in-law called me one night saying she woke up to Chaithra crying in pain. She was asleep and her arm just cracked. It was shocking. She visited the doctor in the morning who got suspicious and ordered another set of tests. She was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma - cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow. It affects the cells that make the bones strong. That explained her fracture and backache.
Is she undergoing treatment currently?This happened a few months ago, and ever since, she has undergone four cycles of chemotherapy. Just as those cycles got over, she had another fracture in the same arm. The doctor had to fix it with a rod, and they said she might need a surgery if it does not heal well. Chaithra now needs a bone marrow transplant. The doctor said it is her only chance at recovery.
How is she coping with the condition?Better than anyone would expect her to. She is staying with her mother. Her father passed when she was very young, so it has always been the two of them. I have to stay here in the village to care for our daughters and my mother. Also, if I close down the shop, then we will not have money for the treatment or pretty much anything else. She misses us all, and we are heartbroken as well. She is strong enough for all of us.
How have you managed the medical expenses so far?We do not have much savings. Whatever we had, I pooled in with funds received from friends and relatives. I have taken a loan. It is the reason I have to stay - I'm paying the interest now. For a while, Chaithra got her injections from a medical college nearby. A relative is in the industry, and he ensured she got the drugs at a lower cost. Even then we ended up spending a few lakhs on her treatment. Now the BMT is estimated to cost Rs, 6,05,000 and we have nowhere to go for that kind of money. I feel quite helpless. I cannot lose my wife. We spend every minute of every day together. Being apart especially when she needs me is tearing me apart. I need help now more than ever to save her.
Chaithra is still in Bangalore waiting for the surgery that will save her life. Her children are waiting desperately to hear that their mother is going to be fine.
Your contribution will help this family save Chaithra and bring her back home.
Supporting DocumentThe 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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