Seelam Devi is the daughter of daily-wage workers Uppaiah and Parvati from a small village near Khammam, Telangana. She has been suffering from a liver condition since she was 3-months-old. Depending on her parents' financial situation, she has been surviving on medicines. But now, only a liver transplant can save her.
Seelam is 6-years-old now and has battled chronic liver disease all her life
Seelam's parents have lived years fearing for her life
It takes time for the liver to function properly in newborn babies and most have mild jaundice in the first two weeks of their life. But some babies are unlucky and develop a block in their liver and suffer from a painful condition called Biliary Atresia.
Of these unlucky babies, unfortunate are the babies whose parents cannot afford good medical treatment for them. Seelam Devi's parents feel that their daughter is the unluckiest of them all because she was born to them.
Seelam with her parents Uppaiah and Parvati and her older sister Pavani
“We have two daughters and even if we are poor, we want the best for both of them. But we have not been able to give Seelam the treatment she needed. We have barely managed to give her medicines that helped her live and go to school,” says Uppaiah, Seelam's father.
Seelam has had Biliary Atresia from when she was 3-months-old and it has left her liver damaged beyond repair. Her life has been punctuated by regularly falling sick and her parents rushing her to the hospital to administer treatment that will allow her to go on.
Seelam's condition cannot be ignored any more
Seelam has learnt to live with the pain. Every month, she has to miss at least three days of school and yet, all her teachers find her an attentive and intelligent student. She knows how sad her mother gets when she is sick and tries to be brave for both her parents. But like any child her age, she has learnt to dread and fear the word 'operation'.
Seelam with her parents in front of the hospital. They travel 195kms every time they need to come to the hospital.
"It became too much when she heard that one of her parents needed an 'operation' for a liver transplant. She thought her mother would have to take an 'operation' and started crying. Because Seelam never cries, her mother started crying too. I quietened her saying that the operation was for me. Let her be happy till then,” Uppaiah explains.
Seelam's parents are both willing to give a part of their liver so their daughter can finally get better. Even if it means being unable to work and earn for the next three months. Depending on who is a more compatible donor, they are both prepared to go under the knife for their child.
Seelam is very attached to her mother, sometimes crying if she sees her sad
Losing their child is poor reward for years of sacrifices
So far, Seelam's condition has been managed with medicines and emergency treatment. Her parents have spent everything they could spare on her treatment spending close to Rs 4 lakhs on her medicines alone till now. In the last few years, since her condition has worsened, they made regular trips to Hyderabad so she got treated at a good hospital.
Uppaiah and Parvati will do anything so she may live but are too poor to save her. Together, they earn Rs 8,000 per month. Seelam needs a liver transplant that will cost Rs 16 lakhs but her parents have no means to arrange it. Let poverty not be the reason this innocent child succumbs to liver disease.
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.