This is a story of Merwin, a 3-year old boy whose only friends are his toys. Eight months back, his life turned upside down.
"It all started in August last year. Merwin was out playing with his friends. Usually, Merwin used to get inside before it got dark. That day he did not return even after an hour of the sun setting down. So finally, his mother went out to look for him and found him unconscious at the entrance of the house. She rushed him to the hospital that very moment.”
Merwin’s father, Ramasamy, owns a travel agency and makes Rs. 50,000 per month. His mother, Prabha Kumaragurusami, is a housewife.
When they took Merwin to the hospital and spoke to the doctor he suggested it was just weakness and they hoped he would get better. However, God had some other plans. Things got worse in September when Merwin started vomiting blood and was unable to have food. It was evident that something was wrong. His parents took him to the hospital on 6th September to get him checked. On examination, the doctor showed his suspicions that something might have affected his brain. He wrote down a few diagnostic tests and asked them to go to the lab immediately to get the tests done.
“I knew something was terribly wrong with my child but I was too scared to know what. Next week we got all his tests done. The pathologist asked me to stay back for a few minutes so he could give me the initial report But I had to rush back home because Merwin was feeling sick again."
The doctor called the parents and suggested that they had to take him to a hospital as soon as they could. His parents immediately took him to SIMS hospital where the doctors confirmed that Merwin a had a rare brain cancer and it would be extremely difficult to get a treatment in India.
The doctors told his parents there was only so much they could do and he MUST be taken to US for further treatment. That was the only hope they had.
“We both want to save our child by whatever means possible, we wish nobody goes through this terrible trauma” - Prabha Kumaragurusami - Merwin's Mother
Despite the limited income, Ramasamy managed to arrange 8 lakh rupees for Merwin's treatment. He has already taken a loan of 1.5 lakhs, spent his savings of 3 lakhs and has borrowed another 1.5 lakhs from his relatives for the initial medical treatment.
The current expenses will be for traveling to the US and to get Merwin treated. That will cost them 32 lakhs in total. They might also incur more expenses based on the post-operative care.
Since last September, Merwin has been suffering from brain cancer, rather he has been battling cancer. His condition right now is extremely critical. The child has been admitted and treated in several hospitals in Chennai and the last hope for his parents is to take him to USA where he will get the required treatment.
Merwin cannot play nor can he eat properly. He even has issues with hearing and vision. He wishes to stay normal but his health condition does not allow him to do so. He cannot play any outdoor games due to his weak immune system which might catch infections outside.
"I don't like the taste of this medicine Amma. Please can I stop having it?" - Merwin
Merwin does not know what he is suffering from. However, he is a bright young kid who understands that something is not right with him. His condition is not improving. He constantly cries and all he wants to do is to be able to play outside. He keeps asking his mother when can he stop taking those medicines. His mother does not know what to tell her 3-year old baby.
Without the cure suggested in the US, it would be difficult to save the child. The procedure along with the treatment will cost close to 32 lakhs.The parents who have a monthly income of 50,000 are having an extremely difficult time trying to arrange funds for the treatment.
“I don’t know how to tell my son what he is going through. It breaks my heart to see him this way. We want to save our son. We want him to be able to go out and play and live the normal life he deserves. I request you all to help us save our Merwin.”