“I lost my daughter less than a month ago to the same disease, and now I am afraid I will lose my son too.”
Fanconi anemia. If you talk to 17-year-old Pravin’s father, Shivaraju, Fanconi anemia would be the only word you would hear. Most of us would have never heard of it, much less understand what it means. All he knows is that it is a disease that is slowly weaning the life away from his son. Pravin has been suffering for over two years and is now fighting for his life with a dangerous blood disease that just killed his younger sister. The only cure is a bone marrow transplant that this family knows they cannot afford.
Two lives hung in the balance
For the past two years, Pravin had fever, weakness and a lot of symptoms that got his parents extremely worried. They took him to the local doctor who prescribed a few medicines. When he did not respond to the treatment, they moved on to the hospitals in the city. A battery of tests only showed low platelet count. Pravin was on a few rounds of blood transfusion, and when he still did not show improvement, doctors told Shivaraju that he needed a surgery. "They said something was eating up his white blood cells, and we had to get the money ready for a surgery that can fix him."
When their son kept getting worse, the parents moved him to NH where he was finally diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Fanconi anemia that affects the bone marrow, resulting in the decreased production of all types of blood cells. Unfortunately, Pravin’s sister, Varsha was also exhibiting the same symptoms, and diagnosed with the same disease. The parents, Shivaraju and Pavithra, watched the siblings struggle to survive until Varsha succumbed to it last month.
“We were in the hospital with both of them for the past month. I saw her bleed to death. I want to save my son from the same fate. They are our children. We should be able to protect them.”
Between poverty and fate
This family is from Ramnagar, Kanakapura. They live in a tiny home with modest earnings and little to no savings. Shivaraju is a farmer without any form of constant income. “Everything is dependent on the rain. If it rains, then I get something, if not, then there is nothing on hand. This is our state.” Pavithra takes care of the household chores and the children. This is a family from an extremely weak financial background with not much substantial help from family or friends. Their only asset is an acre of land which the family is unable to sell because of the demonetization crisis. Pravin is in an extremely critical state where they have a small window to perform a bone marrow transplant before he begins to bleed out like his sister. Shivaraju is unable to afford admission or any kind of treatment expenses because of which every passing moment is putting his son's life in danger.
“We did not even dream there could be such diseases and now I don’t know if I should blame poverty or fate for the fact that we are not able to save even one of our children.”
How can you help?
Doctors have advised the family to opt for a bone marrow transplant to save Pravin. They have identified the parents for haplo-matched donors. The estimated cost for this procedure is Rs. 24,00,000. The family has almost given up on their finances and are praying hard for the Lord to spare their son. Pravin is in an extremely critical state. He just developed an infection that has required his parents to immediately admit him to the hospital. He needs this treatment at the earliest for any chance of survival.
Your contribution can mean the difference between life and death for Pravin.