"He’s been in the hospital for five days now, and it breaks my heart to see him suffer like this, in so much pain! In the first two days, his pain was so excruciating that he nearly became blind to everything around him. I would hold his hand whenever he started screaming, try and talk to him, but it was like I wasn’t even there. He couldn’t see me nor hear me; he was lost in his own world of pain.
I don’t know what to do. My son has a tumor inside him... he’s dying in front of my eyes.
And all I can do is watch."
— Lakshmi, mother, sobbing
Abhiram and his father, just a few days prior to his hospitalization
He went from healthy to critical overnight
"How can this happen to someone in just one day? All of Sunday night my boy was totally fine, laughing and playing like he did on countless nights in the past. He’s fallen ill maybe once or twice in his whole life, and he’s 11 years old! But by Monday morning his stomach was severely bloated and he was in terrible pain. We got a CT scan at a local clinic, and the report said he had a tumor in his liver!" — Shankar
The tumor has destroyed his liver, he needs a new one
Not wanting to believe such a terrible truth, desperate for an alternate diagnosis, Shankar and Lakshmi got their son scanned at two other clinics, but the results were consistent. Abhiram had a tumor growing on his liver, and without urgent treatment he wouldn’t last a week. Fluid-buildup was causing his stomach to swell to twice its size.
“Doctors are saying that the tumor is advanced and has a hold on nearly the entire liver. It needs to be cut out, after which Abhiram would need a new liver transplanted inside him. On Monday they told me he has a week left!” — Shankar
Medicines are controlling his pain only to an extent
“Once he got hospitalized and all the painkillers had time to kick in, his screams merely turned into a constant groan. It’s not as bad as it was, but he’s still in pain. Now that he can talk, he tells me that the pain is so much sometimes he can’t even breathe! He hasn’t had a proper meal in a week because of the pain, and neither have we. In our case it’s partly because we can’t imagine eating knowing our son’s stomach is empty, and partly because... because we can’t afford it.” — Lakshmi
You’re their only hope
Abhiram needs the transplant in the next two to three days at the latest. Shankar used to work as a driver before the pandemic hit, and Lakshmi is a homemaker. The past few months have already been hell for these parents, though they ensured Abhiram never saw how bad things were. For all his tests and hospital visits, they've already spent whatever little savings they had left. The kind of treatment he needs, the transplant, is all too expensive for this family to afford. Even if they had a year, and not just days, they couldn’t raise such a sum.