We thought something was growing on top of her eye. We took her to one hospital after the other, trying to make it go away. But last week we found out...
We found out that it is her eye! Infected and hanging two inches out of her little head!
– Ramniwas, father of Komal
Every night Ramniwas, a daily-wager, comes home to his wife and children after a hard day's work, eager to hear about day they had, and excited to play with Komal, his little daughter. But one night two months ago, he noticed her right eye was quite red. When asked, Komal admitted it was slightly painful, so Ramniwas took her to a doctor in his village first thing in the morning. They told him some eye-drops would fix it. They were wrong.
‘It just kept getting bigger and bigger!’
“For nearly two months we kept going to local doctors, and they kept saying it was just some infection on top of her eye. They kept giving us eye-drops, and I religiously used them on her as prescribed. But when it didn’t stop... when her entire eye closed over, we were too scared and too fed-up. We looked for better hospitals, and by the time we brought her here... it was bigger than her face. They say it’s cancer, that it’s actually her eye sticking out like that. That she can die. My little one... she’s just 4 years old... No age is right for something like this but... she’s just 4...” – Ramniwas, breaking down into sobs
She is in pain unlike anything you can imagineLittle Komal has bilateral retinoblastoma – a type of cancer that starts in the retina, the very back part of the eye. It is the most common type of eye cancer in children. In Komal's case, it started in her right eye and has taken over completely, bulging and deforming it beyond recognition as a human eye. This puts the poor 4-year-old in tremendous pain all the time, like a hot metal rod pressed into her face 24 hours a day. Thankfully, the cancer has been limited to one eye after the doctors here at Manipal Hospitals pooled some money and got Komal emergency chemotherapy as soon as she came in. But her right eye can still kill her.
‘Her tears were mixing with her blood when I saw her.’
“I’ve seen many cancer patients in my time, but when I saw Komal, it broke my heart. I could tell how much pain she was in. But there is hope. While her right eye itself beyond saving now, far too damaged, there is a good chance she can make a complete recovery as long as we remove the eye as soon as possible, and put her through a course of chemo to eliminate the cancer entirely. Little Komal can have a very long, happy, and fulfilling life, but we’re running out of time. It’s just a matter of days now, before the unthinkable can happen.” – Dr. Satyendra, Komal’s doctor
Ramniwas and Santosh (mother) need more than 15 lakhs urgently, to save Komal's life. Ramniwas has no property to his name, no savings – the only legacy he has ever cared about is his children. In this time of tremendous pain and fear, Ramniwas has no one to stand with him and help him save his sweet little Komal.
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