“My son is very sick. He either lies down or sits in silence all day. My husband has not been working for the past 4 years because of his rheumatism, due to which his arms and legs have become stiff and painful. On my meagre and unsteady earnings, I cannot even afford my child's medicines.” - Savitha, mother of 16-year-old Nuthan.
Nuthan suffers from a rare blood disorder called thalassemia major, as a result of which the body does not produce enough new blood cells. Until recently, monthly blood transfusions were enough to make him better, but the high iron deposits in his blood have already damaged his heart and kidneys. The only way out of this is for Nuthan to get a bone marrow transplant, but it is beyond the reach of his poor family.
This young boy had to drop out of school due to the severity of his conditionNuthan was diagnosed with the disorder at just 5 months of age, when he started turning pale and got recurrent fevers. He had to undergo blood transfusions every 15 days till he turned four. Following a surgery to remove a tumour from his stomach, he only had to undergo them once every month. As he grew old enough, Nuthan was enrolled in school but was never able to attend his classes regularly.
“Due to his sheer determination, he was able to get promoted to the 9th grade recently. But then shortly after, he had no choice but to drop out. His illness has completely taken over his life. He is so good at mimicry, drawing, playing… but he could never do anything properly. He does not even look like a teen, because his growth has been badly affected too.” - Savitha, tearfully.
‘On days that I get work, I earn only Rs 300…how will I save my boy?’Savitha was a homemaker before her husband, Prabhakar, had to stop working because of a severe case of rheumatism. Prabhakar used to be a coolie and managed to get work regularly so that he could afford Nuthan’s transfusions and medicines. But Savitha does not get regular work as a domestic help, and she is struggling to manage household costs on one hand, and the treatment costs of her son on the other.
“On the days I get work, I earn only Rs 300. That is never enough for anything really. We are barely getting by. Now my son is in urgent need of a transplant that costs lakhs of rupees. I don’t know how I will arrange that – I already sold all the jewelry that I owned and even borrowed as much money as I could. But it is not enough.” - Savitha.
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