"I have been putting kaala teeka (black mark) on Ayushi’s cheek ever since she was a few days old. I believed it would keep her from evil, and yet here we are in the hospital every 20 days." - Annapurna9-month-old Ayushi kicks and screams every time a nurse comes towards her. She is fighting Thalassemia, because of which she is always anemic. With her husband away for work, Annapurna has to travel by herself every week from Bagalkot to Bangalore with two little children, for Ayushi's treatment. It is getting harder to pay for transfusions and impossible to get the cure.
'If I hadn't taken her to the doctor then, it would've been too late'When she was 3 months old, Ayushi she spent hours crying. Annapurna tried everything. It was not hunger or sleep. The baby girl was unable to pass urine or stools. She was in pain. Annapurna took her to a hospital near their village – she looks back on this as her best decision.
“If I hadn't taken her then, we would’ve never found out about her blood disease until it was too late. The thought of that scares me even now. I took her in for something else entirely, the blood test was just routine. She’s only a baby, she can’t even express her pain. We would’ve never known. But now she has a real chance of fighting it. ”- Annapurna, mother
Baby Ayushi has Thalassemia, a blood disease due to which her body can’t produce enough hemoglobin. This leaves the 9-month-old weak and pale. The blood transfusions are keeping her going – but not for long. If she gets a bone marrow transplant in time, she can be cured of this disease for good.
Her 3-year-old brother holds her hand through treatmentEveryone loves baby Ayushi, especially her older brother Yashwanth (3) who watches over her constantly. Sometimes when Annapurna takes him along for Ayushi’s transfusion, he sits with her on the hospital bed, holding her hand through the 3 hours of transfusion.
“The only time she sits still is when her brother is by her side. Otherwise she cries throughout. She wants to be carried, she just wants to feel safe.”
Annapurna can’t save her on a low incomeAnnapurna and Manjunath now spend all their time worrying about affording the bone marrow transplant that costs 23 lakhs. Annapurna stitches blouses at home.
“I earn Rs. 40 for each blouse that I stitch. This is a small village, there's not much work and I get one blouse to stitch on most days. My husband works as a computer operator and earns Rs. 100/ day. He’s also trying to find extra work, to start saving for a transplant. That’s why he can’t always be there during her treatment. Now there’s no way we can afford it without help.”
The sooner she gets the transplant, the higher her chances of beating the diseaseBaby Ayushi now cries all night. She hardly sleeps and on some days doesn’t even drink milk. The disease can make her weaker with time and the blood transfusions can only prolong her life for a while. A bone marrow transplant is necessary. Ayushi hasn’t even said her first words yet. Her whole childhood is ahead of her. But her poor parents, despite their best efforts, can’t afford her treatment.
Your support will save baby Ayushi.
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.
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