Dip with Somnath at the hospital
Dip's illness started early – even before he learnt to speakDip fell sick when he was 7-months old. He had a cold and a fever. To his parents' shock he even stopped feeding. His parents took him to the doctor who diagnosed him with Thalassemia Major – a severe form of blood disorder where the body simply does not produce enough good blood cells.
Dip needed regular blood transfusions to live. If not properly taken care of, the disease can even kill. Unwilling to believe the terrible diagnosis, Somnath brought Dip to Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, far away from him village. But the diagnosis remained the same.
Dip started taking regular blood transfusions. It is the only thing that keeps him alive. Every time he misses a few days in getting new blood, he is sick, feverish and dull. He needs constant checkups to make sure nothing goes wrong. The treatment is becoming very expensive for Somnath.
"I run a xerox shop spend almost Rs 7,000 rupees every month for Dip's medicines that need to be brought from Chennai. We don't get the medicines here. I don't even earn as much as I need to spend for his medicines. What little I had, is gone. I am penniless. But I can't let my child die," says Somnath.
Dip with his mother
“I do not want to lose my son to this disease”Since Dip started taking transfusions, his parents have been spiralling in debt because they simply can't afford life-saving medicines. But last October, the doctors gave these heartbroken parents a ray of hope. Dip could get better if he got a bone-marrow transplant.
Dip could have a normal, healthy life if he had a successful bone-marrow transplant. At 3 years, Dip is of the age where he has a good chance to recover. What is even better is that Somnath is a 100% match and he can donate stem cells to Dip.
After seeing hope, it too was snatched away from Somnath when he learnt that the procedure would cost Rs 30 lakhs. No matter what he does, he will never be able to put together an amount this large in time to save Dip.
“Every day that I see him sick and feverish, I curse my own misfortune. My sweet, innocent child has done nothing wrong – he was only born in a poor man's house. If I continue paying for his medicines, I will not have enough to even continue his education,” Somnath laments.
How you can help DipEven at his age, Dip realises that his parents are deeply unhappy about something. While other parents with a child of Dip's age start looking for schools, Somnath is figuring out ways to save his only son's life.
Somnath wants to see Dip do every normal thing that a child of his age does. Dip hasn't reached the age to express his pain. But his constant cries are an indication that Dip's health is suffering.Dip can get the transplant and lead a healthy life.
Let's all come forward to do our bit in giving little Dip a real childhood.