Everyone coughs. There’s nothing new or dangerous about it. When it happened to me, I shrugged it off as a flu or allergy. It became a part of me eventually. Little did I know it was a symptom of a much bigger disease. It was a sign of my heart failing.
I got concerned about my cough for the first time in 2013. It was just 2 days after my younger brother Pramod’s wedding. I felt like my lungs were on fire and I was suffocating. The chest pain was unbearable. My brothers saw me suffering and immediately took me to the hospital. All I remember is pain. Even the tests are a blur. I was sedated for a long time. When I woke up, I remember Pramod and Sunil looking very grave. They told me I had heart disease and my heart was functioning at 30% its capacity.
“Pramod and I failed our high school exams. We hardly understood what the doctor was telling us, but our hearts sank as the tone told us that our brother’s life was in danger. The doctor explained how his heart was not strong enough to push blood to all his organs, and that he will not survive for long as his condition would continue to deteriorate.” – Sunil.
Pramod, Sunil and I are from Kolhapur. We live with our parents in a humble home. Our father recently had a bypass surgery. We care for him now. Pramod and Sunil did not pursue their studies. Instead, they are working for a meager income of Rs. 5000 each using which they support the household and my education. They are both married, so they have additional responsibilities now. Regardless, my brothers have always prioritized my needs, and done everything they could to ensure I finish my Ph.D and fulfill the dreams of this family.
“We did not know that Prashant needed a heart transplant. Back in 2013, we thought his problem was cured. Again in 2015, he began to have the same symptoms, only this time it was worse. We admitted him in the hospital. For 4-5 days he was treated with medicines. He felt better, but in a month the problem recurred. After another test, we were taken aback to find out that his heart function was down to 15%. That was so close to 0, and meant that someday soon our brother’s heart may just stop beating. Kolhapur hospitals were not equipped to deal with such serious cases. So we came to Mumbai and consulted with Dr. Hamdulay.”
I do not want to express my symptoms and scare my family. It does get unbearable at times and so I am unable to hide it. My cough, for example, gives away the truth about my condition. Lately, my appetite has gone down. I find it hard to eat because I choke on food, and also I do not feel hungry. It hurts when I urinate, and my fatigue prevents me from doing anything.
“During those years, regardless of the pain and discomfort, Prashant was dedicated to his education. He has completed his Ph.D, but cannot go to work right now because of his deteriorating condition. Back then, the doctors never even suggested a surgery. It was only after we came to Dr. Hamdulay that we learned about the cure. So far, all the treatment including medication has been keeping his symptoms at bay. It is a temporary fix, and will not stop him from dying. My brother needs a heart transplant, and soon!” – Pramod.
I am now confined to the bed until the heart transplant. I am not allowed to go out or exert myself. What will happen? Fatality. I was chasing after dreams, now it feels like there will not be a life to live out those dreams. My brothers have squeezed their pockets dry for me and are deep in debt.
“How can you ever give up on family? We would do anything to keep him alive. The estimated cost for this surgery is Rs. 15 Lakh. With our father’s surgery, we are not left with much to cope with Prashant’s medical expenses. We need help to save our brother. He has so much to do, so much to achieve. Please help us save him.”
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The 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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