Rupesh and Suvarna were filled with joy and excitement when their son turned 1 on 15 January, 2023. Little did they know, this milestone birthday was about to turn into their worst nightmare and leave them on the verge of losing their son to a rapidly spreading blood cancer.
A persistent fever had left him terribly weakJust a day after his first birthday, Rupesh and Suvarna’s little boy fell terribly ill. A high fever, coupled with a severe cold and hacking coughs had weakened him terribly. Thinking that the change in climate may have been the cause of it, they resorted to home remedies to treat him. That is until 8 days later, when his fever didn’t show any sign of reducing, these parents realised it had to be something else entirely that was plaguing their child.
“I was fraught with worry, seeing our little boy in this state. We took him to many doctors in our town, but his condition showed no improvement. I was so afraid and didn’t know what to do. Nothing we did was working and everytime I looked at his frail body, I would end up bursting into tears.” - Suvarna, mother
Multiple hospital visits later, they discovered the devastating truthAmidst all this, these parents were painfully aware of their financial incapability to get a consultation at a private hospital. So, they strived to take their ailing child to a local hospital in a neighbouring city, and that’s when their little one's condition spiralled out of control.
“His stomach swelled up suddenly, and he had severe vomiting spells. He was also visibly losing weight - he’d become so thin in the span of a few days. But what really terrified me was when he started to bleed from his eye. Then, 2 days later, he was bleeding from both eyes. He had to undergo many tests… but while we awaited the results, his health deteriorated again and we had to rush him to a specialty hospital. There we were told of the possibility of him suffering from blood cancer, and I felt my heart stop at the doctor’s words.” - Suvarna
Confirming the doctor’s suspicions, a round of tests the 1-year-old had undergone came back positive for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, cancer of the blood and bone marrow, primarily affecting the white blood cells. In addition to his diagnosis, his blood reports suggested a drastic drop in his platelet levels and he needed a transfusion urgently.
During their pursuit for affordable treatment, their son’s condition went from bad to worse
“We didn’t even have the money to get him a transfusion, and so his father had to leave his job behind and join us here, just so he could donate blood. They told us about his treatment, and we just knew there was no way we could bear the massive expenses. So, we tried to move him to another hospital. But that was a huge mistake. His condition became so critical that he had to be shifted to the ICU. We had to bring him back to the previous hospital, or we would have lost him that day.” - Suvarna
He needs long-term treatment, but his parents can’t even afford a plate of foodRupesh and Suvarna’s baby boy needs to undergo chemotherapy, following which the doctors will determine whether he will need a bone marrow transplant or not. But these parents are in a tight financial crunch. Rupesh, a personal chauffeur, earns only INR 9,000 a month. His meagre savings have all been used up in paying off his son’s hospital bills until now and even his income has not been spared.
With a lot of help and effort, they have managed to get their child one cycle of chemotherapy. But he still has a long way to go before he can be declared cancer-free, and they have run out of the means to make that happen.
“At this point, we don’t even have money for food. I eat at the hospital mess, while my husband survives on one meal a day. He’s forced to stay in a small rented room close by, and can’t even go back home right now. We have truly drained every last bit of money we had. All we are hanging onto right now is some hope, but even that is slowly starting to dwindle…” - Suvarna
Rupesh and Survarna know that they will never be able to afford INR 12 lakhs in one go for their child’s treatment and stand to lose him to cancer. They need your help to save him. Click here to donate and help these parents keep their child’s chemotherapy going
Identity of the child is protected in adherence to government guidelines.