“At 2 in the morning, they asked us to leave the hospital. We had nowhere to go. I was holding my baby girl tight. I prayed for it to not rain that night. It was cold, she was already shivering with fever. Not having anywhere else to go, we just sat there outside the gate like homeless people.” - Vitthal (Father)
When Vedika began showing symptoms of an unexplained illness, parents Vitthal and his wife did everything to find an answer. When nothing worked, they left their town in Kolhapur and traveled to Mumbai. It was only after a night of waiting outside the hospital, this family discovered that their little girl has cancer.
‘Does this mean my daughter will not live to see her 2nd birthday?’Vedika had turned one year old when the recurrent fevers began. The parents believed over the counter medicines and even natural remedies would cure her. Weeks later, they rushed to the local hospital. The doctor prescribed many tests. They did not know or understand the purpose. Without disclosing his findings to the parents, he asked them to go to Mumbai right away for treatment.
“I was speechless and shocked the entire journey thinking about what must be wrong. Something told me Vedika’s life is in danger. Her body had started showing visible symptoms. She kept sleeping from low BP. She was very weak. There were spots all over her skin. It looked like chicken pox. I hoped it was only that. I reached the hospital at 11PM. I sat outside from 2AM until when they called us back inside. Nothing could have prepared me for what the doctor said.”
They were not even able to afford a room for the night, and now they worry about saving their daughter from the most expensive disease in the world.Vedika was admitted immediately for treatment. The estimated cost of treatment shocked Vitthal. For 3 months, the family has been doing everything to pay the bills. As a farmer, Vitthal barely made Rs. 20,000 per year. He sold his cows and exhausted Rs. 1 lakh which is all of his savings. He has been looking for help ever since.
“An auto rickshaw driver heard our story. He welcomed us to stay with him until we figure things out. It has been 3 months since that day. I did not even money for food. And food costs much less than chemotherapy or a medicine. How am I going to save my daughter?”
Being from a small town, Eknath Vishalgad in Kolhapur, the family’s only concern has been with roti, kapda and makaan. They never had to worry about sickness. They did not even know that children can get cancer. Vitthal toiled day and night for every rupee he could make. He was only focused on survival. Now, as Vedika’s condition deteriorates, survival has taken a very different meaning.
"Not being able to pay for her treatment is as good as signing her death warrant. I don't want to lose her. But there is nothing more I can do. I still need Rs. 5 Lakhs."
For 3 months now, Vedika has only been crying. She sleeps when sedated, and she is unable to express her pain. Although she has an excellent chance of survival with treatment, delays will affect her progress and turn things the wrong way. Vitthal worries that he may have to discharge and take their daughter home if they cannot pay for further treatment.
Your contribution can change their plight and save this little girl from a world of pain.
Supporting DocumentThe 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.
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