My child is a fast learner. He draws, sings, plays and never gives us any trouble. He is the first one to go to an English medium school from our family and we are so proud of him. God has gifted my child with talents but I am scared that he forgot to give him a healthy life span. His heart is getting weaker and only surgery will save him. But how can a daily wager like me spend lakhs for a heart operation? - Paneer Selvam, Father
Deepak’s heart disease was diagnosed when he was four months old. He has a defect in which excess blood flows in his body giving high pressure to his tiny heart. To control it temporarily he underwent a corrective surgery that reduces the flow.
He collapsed while playing in his school, a sign that his heart was failing slowly
"Doctors told that he is too young to undergo surgery at this age and asked us to wait till he turns 2. But even after two years, we couldn’t provide him with surgery as I was running short of money. A year went by and all I could manage to save was only one-third of the amount. One day Deepak started experiencing more pain and collapsed in his school while playing. It was then, the first time in my life I felt a chilling fear of death nearing my son." - Paneer Selvam
The problem in the arteries is now reducing the blood supply to his lungs and he needs open-heart surgery to clear it. If not corrected it may turn fatal leading to heart failure.
Deepak wakes up in the middle of his sleep every day, gasping for breath
"The heart disease is making him weaker each day and he is struggling to breathe. He is tired and he can’t walk more than a few steps without tripping and falling. There are days when he wakes up in the middle of the night saying “Amma I feel like something is there on my chest. I cannot breathe”. It is painful when I see him struggling like that. He is too small even to explain how he feels. I stay awake the whole night, comforting and making him go back to sleep by stroking his chest with a balm," - Bhuvaneshwari.
Without a heart surgery at the earliest little Deepak cannot live a normal life like others. He cannot study or play or even recite his favourite rhymes. But the whole surgery costs around 10 lakhs and his poor father cannot pay it.
"I don’t have a permanent job. I work as a daily wager in fields during harvest time and in other times, I go to cities and work in construction sites. After a hard day at work, I earn only Rs.350. With that money I educate my child, look after the household expenses and make sure no one in my family goes to sleep on empty stomach. Now I need to pay a huge sum to save my child’s life and I stand helpless. I have no time and I need to save my child soon, please help me..." Paneer Selvam