"Its all gone. All the times we would fight with one another, tease each other or share our deepest secrets -- seems a lifetime away! Now all that is left is the pain. Pain for her because she is going through such an ordeal and pain for me because I am forced to helplessly watch my little sister like this," Nisha's brother, Pavan.
For past one year, 24-year-old Nisha's life has been an unceasing nightmare. What should have been her most productive years, Nisha is battling a life-threatening disease. She is fighting a bravely, but given her family's financial instability, she may fail to hold on for much longer.
"Most days, my sister cannot eat food. She is alive and breathing but some days she needs liquid foods. She is suffering every day, every hour. Some days she is in so much pain that she can't sleep a wink. Her whole life is a series of medicines and tests. She did nothing to deserve this," says Pavan.
A Grim, unexpected DiagnosisIt all started a year back when Nisha started having chronic fever. Some times her feet would swell up, and she would be unable get out of her bed. The family took her to a local doctor in Kanpur. A series of tests gave the family some shocking news. Both of Nisha's kidneys were completely damaged and the only way to keep her alive was a kidney transplant.
"The doctor said that Nisha has reached this stage because of an injection a doctor gave to her in Mumbai. Initially, my father was working there, and we used to stay with him. Nisha was a little sick one of those days, and my father took her to a local doctor there. Now he rues that day," said Nisha's brother, Pavan Pandey.
Nisha needs dialysis once in two days. She is on the transplant waiting list at a government hospital in Lucknow. Her mother is ready to donate her kidney, but given her advanced age (54), the doctors are not very keen. But the situation is so desperate that Nisha's mother is undergoing all pre-transplant tests required of a donor any way.
A Dream InterruptedNisha completed her graduation in Kanpur and started teaching in a school there. She came to love being around the inquisitive minds of her students. In a city where opportunities are so few, she tried to make the best of whatever she got.
"She is smart and committed to her work. If not for her disease, she would have carved a name for herself today," said Pavan.