Selvakumar has been running around for help for the last three and a half years. He has been knocking on peoples' doors, strangers and friends, and pleading for help. All this because he needs to save his son Dhivagar's life. Dhivagar suffers from beta thalassemia major and urgently requires a bone marrow transplant.
He has never known a life free of illness
Dhivagar is going to turn 4 this December. And almost all his life, he has been sick. Dhivagar was 6 months of age, when he started falling ill. Selvakumar recollects, “He was constantly running a temperature and always had a cold.” The baby would also find it difficult to fall asleep. He would be up all night, crying, because he was always in a lot of pain, says Selvakumar. His hair fell out and his skin turned pale.
Dhivagar's worried parents rushed him to various doctors in their hometown of Dharapuram, in Tirupur district, Tamil Nadu. The doctors suspected that Dhivagar might be suffering from some form of blood disorder and told the parents that an operation might be required. They suggested taking the child to Coimbatore in order to receive better medical treatment.
When Selvakumar and his wife conveyed the doctors' suggestions to their family, the other members of the family immediately rejected the idea of taking Dhivagar to Coimbatore, as they couldn't afford the expenses that would be involved. A desperate Selvakumar and his wife then took Dhivagar to a hospital in nearby Dindigul, where they administered a blood transfusion in the child. The doctors at the hospital told the parents to take Dhivagar to Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore.
A devastating diagnosis
Once the parents brought Dhivagar to CMC, Vellore, a blood test was immediately conducted on the child. And within 20 days, the parents' worst fears were confirmed – Dhivagar had thalassemia.
Selvakumar pleaded with the doctors to do whatever it took to save his son's life. Dhivagar required a blood transfusion every month. And he has been undergoing transfusions every month for the last three and a half years. The transfusions have wiped out the family's finances, and Selvakumar has had to rely on the kindness and support of friends and strangers to gather funds.
After getting the results from CMC, someone suggested taking Dhivagar to Meenakshi Mission Hospital in Madurai for further treatment. The doctors at this hospital told the distraught parents that Dhivagar would require a bone marrow transplant as a permanent solution to his illness.
It was then suggested that Dhivagar be transferred to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, where Dr. Revathi Raj could provide alternate solutions. Once the family arrived in Chennai, they visited Dr. Revathi Raj, who told them that the parents and their elder son be tested as potential donors. Unfortunately, none of them were a match for Dhivagar. Dr. Raj then helped find a foreign donor for Dhivagar. Whilst the donor was found, the procedure for the transplant could not be completed as there was a shortage of funds.
Selvakumar has tried everything that would help with the funds required for Dhivagar's transplant. He has tried to apply for the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for medical treatment; however, his application was rejected. He applied for the Chief Minister's health insurance scheme, Tamil Nadu – this too was rejected, as a clause states that only family members who are donors for the patient are eligible for the scheme.
How You Can Help
Selvakumar is a daily labourer, working as a loadman in Dharapuram. His wife is a homemaker. Their elder son is a student in Std. V. They require more than Rs. 30 lakhs to proceed with Dhivagar's transplant. “My income is barely enough to get us by daily; the amount for Dhivagar's treatment is unimaginable.”Says Selvakumar. It pains him and his wife to see their young son lying listless because of the disease. With your support and goodwill, Dhivagar can soon reclaim his childhood. Contribute now and help save Dhivagar.