Shahma has been plagued by breathlessness since birthShahma has had to fight many battles ever since she was a baby.
“On the third day after she was born, her body turned blue. We rushed her to the hospital, where the doctors prescribed medicines after medicines. But she did not get better,” says Khadeeja. She also had trouble breathing and would always be restless.
When vomiting blood became a usual affairBut that was not the worst problem Shahma would face. “When she had just turned 3, she was playing as usual, when the unimaginable happened,” shares Ismail.
“She was continuously vomiting blood. Her small body was not strong enough, but she could not control it. We were terrified,” he adds.
Unfortunately for the family, it was not the last time that the vomiting episode would happen. Every once in two weeks, little Shahma would vomit blood, only to be completely upset for the next few hours, or even days. This would not only affect her parents, but her 12-year-old elder sister, who would helplessly look on at her sister’s suffering.
Her mental well-being is upset every time she is sick
“Shahma would completely shut down, and not eat, sleep or behave properly. It’s like she became an entirely different person; mentally distressed and helpless. We cannot bear to see our child go through this anymore. We want to give her the right treatment, but I do not have the money,” says Ismail, who quit working for daily wages at a bakery to take care of Shahma.
Despite struggling with it, Shahma has never asked her parents about her condition. The same is the case with her elder sister; the youngest is too small to understand anything. The parents think that their children are too traumatised to question what is happening. Continuously worrying about Shahma’s condition has become a way of life for the family.