Shrayansh was diagnosed with Thalassemia Major when he was so small, the doctors couldn't find a vein to pierce. Since he was six months old, he has needed blood transfusions once in 15 days. His father, a petrol bunk attendant has spent over 5 lakhs on treatment. Now that he is 4, the doctors have advised a bone-marrow transplant that can save his life and give him a normal childhood.
Through the years, his father has not given up hope
Every second week, Shrayansh begins getting very weak and tired. By next day, he can no longer keep his food down and starts vomiting. His parents know that it is time for a blood transfusion. The clinic for the procedure is in Sambalpur, 100 kms away from Balangir, Orissa, where the family lives. After the transfusion, they need to stay back at a lodge because there is no bus back.
Every time, Shrayansh has to take two days off from school. He is now old enough to know that something is wrong with his health. He knows that all the needles make him better. But he is unable to stop crying as he waits for the transfusion. His father, Rakesh, tells him stories and promises to buy him sweets to get through it.
Shrayansh with his father and grandmother
For these two days, he needs to see his active, happy son transform into a weak, sick child. A bone-marrow transplant offers a glimmer of hope to this worried father.
Rakesh earns only Rs 4,000 per month at the petrol bunk in Balangir. His wife earns 3,000 taking tuitions for children. The regular trips cause a disruption in the family's daily earning. But it is something that the family must endure, because without the transfusions, Shrayansh will die within the first 10 years of his life.
Unable to watch his son suffer, this father has left no stone unturned
When Shrayansh was 5-months-old, he had a very high fever. The local doctor prescribed five blood tests suspecting a deficiency. But he could not locate a vein in his hands or legs and ended up just piercing the baby. Despite only being educated till class 12, Rakesh realised that his son needed better treatment.
That same day, he took Shrayansh to a good hospital in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It was here that the doctor diagnosed him with Thalessemia Major. This is a blood disorder where the body has no ability to produce normal, adult haemoglobin.
Shrayansh was found to be severely anaemic – with his haemoglobin levels being at a dangerous 6. He was given an immediate transfusion and since then, he has needed a blood transfusion twice every month.
For a condition this severe, the doctors recommended a bone-marrow transplant once Shrayansh was older and could withstand the procedure. In 2014, Rakesh decided to take him to Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore. After running tests and checking registries, Shrayansh has found a stem-cell donor who is 100% compatible.
If they arrange funds, Rakesh and his wife Siddhi will finally be able to give their son a healthy life. Given how good the chances of recovery are, the parents are determined to make it happen. But their means are running out.
Financial help can save their son
Taking care of a child with a blood disorder is difficult. Despite the odds, Rakeshand Siddhi are very clear on ensuring the best care for Shrayansh. They have coped with the situation by becoming spiritual. “Taking care of Shrayansh is God's way of making us better people. It is how we learn to become patient and selfless through difficulties. As his parent, I want to end his suffering. If he gets better, we want to help other patients like us in whatever way we can,” he says.
Shreyansh with his parents Rakesh and Siddhi
The couple has spent all their savings on Shrayansh's treatment. With his limited salary, Rakesh can't hope to get a loan. They have applied for government support but that is in the works. Help this family find a way to make it for Shrayansh.
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, click on 'contact campaign organiser'