“His father left us when he was a 3-year-old baby. Even now he knows that his son is in the hospital, but he has neither visited or offered to help. We have been able to afford treatment only because my older brother sold some of his property to get him admitted in time.” – Anusuya, Varun’s mother
Varun has a rare blood disorder and the only treatment is a bone-marrow transplant (BMT)Varun and his mother have not gone home in almost three months since he was admitted. The 16-year-old lies on the bed and his mother sits nearby. He is undergoing preparation for BMT, only treatment for his condition – Aplastic Anemia. His bone marrow is simply not producing enough blood cells for his body and it needs to be replaced.
“We live in Kadur and he was in college there when he fainted last November. Then his stomach pain started and we took him to Shimoga for a scan. They told us his appendix burst but a few more tests later, they asked us to go to Bangalore. In Bangalore, they ran more tests and that was when we learnt what was wrong. We are in the medical college in Manipal now. We can’t go anywhere because he can’t catch any infection at this point. So we both stay within the room given to us and wait.” – Anusuya
Varun’s mother is a daily wage worker struggling to make ends meetVarun’s mother works in the fields when work is available, when it is the right weather. She is paid Rs 200 per day of work. Her older son Madan is also a daily wage worker who works four days a week and earns Rs 300 per day. Even if they decide to forego essential living expenses like food, they will still not be able to put together money for Varun’s treatment.
“When Varun heard about his condition, he cried a lot at first, convinced that he would die. Because we don’t have any money. But then his uncle and I told him not to worry. That we would somehow manage. That he had a very good chance of completely recovering and to be brave. Since then he is also hopeful that some help will come in time.” – Anusuya
Despite all his struggles Varun still hopes that life will give him a chanceVarun is studying in pre-university and takes up jobs on weekends to help his mother and brother make ends meet. The last few months have severely tested his mental and physical condition and he lies sick and exhausted, waiting for the surgery that promises him his life back.
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