“When I was younger, I didn’t even make any goals for my life because of my condition. My only goal was to be free of pain. Now, I’m unable to walk without support but there is still hope if I get the surgery.” – Bharat, while weeping.
Bharat, unable to sit straight on a chair
7 years ago, I was a normal 20-year-old kid, studying and playing sports I loved, like kabaddi. I was keen on getting a job after graduation and I did just that. Now, I’m not able to move without help. I need to use a walker and someone’s support to stand. I’ve been at home for months and haven’t been able to go to work for over 18 months. I can’t even sit in a car or rickshaw properly. And possibly the worst, I can’t even wear my pants on my own, my mother helps me every time. Sleeping on the bed is the only thing that I can do.
Bharat's mother, helping him lie down on the hospital bed
When it started, my back would just hurt a little bit for a few days and go away. I thought this was a normal pain because it didn’t hamper me from doing anything. I didn’t think it was serious and 2 years later the pain still didn’t go away. My back was hurting a lot. So, I decided to get checked up. After some tests, the doctors told me that I had Ankylosing Spondylosis. I was shocked and couldn’t fathom what I was told.
It’s an auto-immune disease which keeps getting worse year after year. You know how a bamboo can’t bend and is just upright when one holds it? So, is my spine. It has become so stiff that all my limbs have also stopped working properly.
But, it’s not like I didn’t do anything. I wanted to fight. I even started a job. I worked as a Data Entry clerk and earned Rs. 10,000 per month.
I gave everything I had to fight the spondylosis. I tried so many different treatments, Ayurvedic too, went to multiple doctors, got multiple injections and medicines. But, my condition just became worse. Some injections did slow down the progression of the disease but still, it’s not a cure. Whatever I earned at my job, I paid for my treatments.
Now, my elder brother got married and had a baby too. So, he was running his own family while I was the only one working to provide for my mother and myself. My father was not in good shape and 2 years ago, he passed away.
Since the past 18 months, my hands hurt a lot and I’m unable to use them to do my job. My legs have somewhat frozen too. I wanted to recover so I started doing some research of my own. I found out that there is a stem cell replacement treatment that could possibly help me recover a bit and put me out of this pain and misery!
I spoke to patients who had already undergone the treatment. All of them had the exact same story as mine. Same back pain, same symptoms, and disabilities. Now, after the surgery, they’re not perfect but to do the basic daily activities. This was exciting and I spoke to the doctors about it. They said that the surgery would help me recover about 40-50%, which is way more than I can ask for. I will be able to do all my basic activities and go to work again.
They said that the surgery could be performed by end of January (2018). But January is already over and I was unable to gather the Rs. 6 lakhs needed for the surgery. The thing is that I have no savings left. I used to pay around Rs. 30,000 for each injection I used to take. My mother doesn’t work and I’ve literally asked everyone I could for help. I’ve even submitted documents to many trusts but most of them fund cancer or heart disease cases. I just feel that there is no one to help me. I don’t know what to do. I can’t even sleep properly at night now and staying at home all the time is very depressing.
I don’t want to run, play or do anything extravagant. I just want to be able to do my normal daily activities and earn for my mother and myself.
How you can help27-year-old Bharat Biradar’s only hope of recovery is to get a surgery which costs around Rs. 6 lakhs. He is unable to do normal activities like walking, wear his clothes or even bend down. This auto-immune disease only gets worse with time and he needs to get the surgery as soon as possible to, at least, be able to walk and start living his life again. His mom is a housewife and he has absolutely no money. Now, he has no option left but crowdfunding and needs your support to walk again.
Your contribution will save Bharat and help him walk again.