“She was born fighting for her life, and the struggle continues every day with something or the other threatening her. We thought it was all behind us, that she would grow up healthy, but she ends up spending most of the time in hospital when she should be out playing with her friends and having a happy childhood.”
7-year-old Nikhisha has been living in pain ever since she first came into this world. Her father abandoned his daughter and wife after she was diagnosed with a blood disorder that he thought was incurable. He did not want to take the responsibility of caring for a sick child, who is now fighting for her life. Nikhisha’s mother and uncle are doing everything they can to get her the life-saving treatment she needs.
“She was a premature baby. She had to be in the NICU for 3 months because she was underweight, could not feed directly and was on a lot of antibiotics because of sepsis. It was heart-wrenching for us to not even be able to hold her in our arms.”
"He wanted a boy, a healthy child. So he abandoned us"
Nikhisha recovered by the time she was 5 months old, but the medical expenses had shot up and her parents were not able to cope. Her father, who had wished for a son, had already begun to blame the child for the additional financial burden and was against putting more efforts since she was just a girl. When the child kept falling sick, he began to detach and never bothered to take her to the doctor. It led to an extramarital affair, which caused more trouble in the family.
“I always thought she was weak because she was a premature baby. She would have fever, cold or cough. She would look pale and tired most of the time. She was never active like other children. It was only when she was 2 years old that we went to a specialist to talk about her fluctuating haemoglobin levels. She was constantly anemic and we wanted to know why.”
"Everyday was a fight to keep her alive"
The toddler was diagnosed with Thalassemia, a genetic disorder that causes the body to become severely anemic. Without frequent blood transfusions, Nikhisha will lose her life. Currently, she needs a transfusion every 15 days. She is quite vulnerable to infections and cannot go out and play like normal children. Nikhisha gets exhausted quickly, and falls sick frequently due to which she spends most of her time on the hospital bed. Her mother and uncle have spent thousands every month for her treatment.
"After Nikhisha’s 1st birthday, my husband left us. He saw that she kept falling sick and wanted a family where he could have a healthy child. My brother is the sole-breadwinner now. He supports us and his family on Rs. 22,000. It is getting difficult to meet ends now. My father is also sick and his treatment is quite expensive.”
"A bone marrow transplant will save her"
Nikhisha’s affliction has a solution. With a bone marrow transplant, she can have a normal healthy childhood and need not fight for survival anymore. Nikhisha has to live in isolation, in her mother’s care before and after the transplant to avoid infection right before and after the transplant. Her family is worried about managing the expenses for this entire duration along with the cost for surgery.
How you can help
"She loves going to school. She is extremely good at academics and sports. We do not want this disease to define her life. We cannot afford Rs. 25 Lakhs for this surgery. I feel terrible asking others for help especially when my own husband has abandoned us, but we have nobody else, and I hope you will be our family during this terrible time.
Contributions through this fundraiser will help to cover Nikhisha's transplant.
The 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.