“These past 15 days have been nothing short of hell for us. Every time we see her eyelids flutter and mouth part, we think she’s going to be able to see us and speak to us again. But even the slightest improvement she shows, doesn’t last long. I live in constant fear of losing my daughter, whilst sitting beside her, everyday.”
- Rekha, mother
What started as a fever turned out to be an infection that gradually worsenedA little over 2 weeks ago, 10-year-old Saloni Hadke suddenly developed a high fever. While medicines prescribed by a local doctor helped reduce her temperature, the fever returned only days later. She was asked to continue her medication until her fever had subsided, instead her condition unexpectedly deteriorated and Saloni was rushed to a bigger hospital in Nagpur, a few hours away from her hometown.
“She underwent some tests and when the results came back, they told us that her platelet count was low and she seemed to have some sort of infection that was causing the fever, along with dengue. All of a sudden, even the little improvements she was showing stopped, and she slipped into a comatose state - she couldn’t talk, move her limbs, nor could she open her eyes! I had never felt more afraid in my whole life, like I did at that moment.” - Sanjay, father
She is recovering at a snail's pace, and there is still a long way to goSaloni was diagnosed with Rickettsial fever, caused by infection from a bacterial tick (a small bug that feeds on blood) bite. She also has dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease. Because of the infection her condition worsened to the point that she started to have breathing troubles and needed to be on a ventilator for a few days.
“The doctor told us that being taken off the mechanical breathing support is a good sign, and that gave us some relief. But she is in the ICU, extremely weak, and cannot be moved to a general ward, yet. Now, the hospital bills are piling up and starting to become unaffordable…” - Rekha
Only prolonged treatment can ensure full recovery, but her father cannot bear the expensesThe only treatment option available to Saloni is prolonged intensive care, along with regular tests and medicines. She needs to remain under observation for at least 15 more days. But her parents, daily-wagers barely earning only INR 200 a day, can never bear the cost of her treatment.
“With only 7,000 rupees in my pocket, I set out to get my daughter treated. But that was not enough. So I begged and borrowed from friends and family. Now they tell us that her treatment will cost more money - money that I cannot afford. Some days it is difficult for us to even eat one proper meal a day. Where on earth am I supposed to get 8 lakh rupees from?” - Sanjay
Sanjay and Rekha have two other kids, aged 12 and 6 respectively, who are eagerly waiting for their sister to return home soon.
“My older daughter calls me every night to ask how her sister is doing, and I have to lie to her so she doesn't worry. She has to hold down the fort in our absence, and take care of her younger brother. I even have to put my children through school. Saloni wants to be a nurse when she grows up and she would always promise to work hard. Looking at her now, the thought of not being able to help her achieve her dream, kills me.” - Sanjay
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