“When Sreeganth sees the neighbourhood boys playing cricket, he asks me if he can join them. But before I can even answer, he quietly goes inside the house and watches them sadly from his room. He knows he is not like them; his heart does not let him walk properly for a minute, how will he be able to play for hours?”-Perumal, father of 12-year-old Sreeganth.
Sreeganth looks like a normal kid, but his heart can fail him any moment now
This child was born with a major valve sealed shut along with a hole in his heart, which made oxygen levels in his body dangerously lowThere is an absence natural outflow of blood to the lungs in Sreeganth’s case. Because the valve that should be pumping blood to the veins is completely sealed, the hole has to facilitate this function. This is what results in dangerously low oxygen levels in the body.
Sreeganth’s parents were told that his heart may heal on its own, which made his uneducated parents ignore the gravity of his condition for a long timeSreeganth had a purplish discoloration on his skin when he was born and he also made a whirring sound while breathing. But when his worried parents asked the doctor at the local government hospital what was wrong, he simply assured them that their child would only need surgery in a few years’ time.
“I have not even gone to school, and my husband is a class 8 pass. We didn’t understand anything the doctor was saying. However, we were relieved when he said that Sreeganth didn’t require surgery immediately, as my husband did not even have a job at that point of time.”-Isakki Ammal, mother.
Sreeganth’s health worsened and his poor parents realized that they had been wrong all along – their son’s heart could kill him at any point without proper medical interventionIt was when their dear son turned 10 that Sreeganth’s unassuming parents got a glimpse of the severity of his condition. He could not walk like other kids and would get tired even if he had not moved from his bed the whole day.
“The worst part is when we realized that our son could not even laugh to his heart’s content. He is such a cheerful boy who finds happiness in everything; you will not catch him ever without a smile on his face. Whenever somebody tells a joke, I see him struggling to breathe out of laughing hard. But when he stopped walking completely, we rushed him to the doctor. That is when we realized that we had been late in getting him to the hospital because he was getting so less oxygen all this while.”-Perumal.
Sreeganth got an assisted device placed in his heart because his life was in grave danger but it will not sustain him for very longLast year, Sreeganth was taken to hospital with severe breathing difficulties and the doctors had no option but to place a shunt in his heart that would temporarily pump blood to the lungs for oxygenation. But now, the shunt needs to be removed because it was only a temporary solution to his heart defect.
“The doctors have clearly told us that Sreeganth can never lead a normal life without an open heart surgery that will repair the valve defect. His lungs will degenerate and slowly become damaged if his heart goes on pumping oxygenated blood like this. The doctor even shouted at us for being so careless with our son’s life. Poor people like us cannot do things promptly because of financial issues.”- Perumal, with tears in his eyes.
How you can helpPerumal works as a watchman in a private company in Salem and earns only around Rs 8,000 per month. He begged and borrowed to make Rs 1 lakh for Sreeganth’s emergency operation last year. Now, he needs to make Rs 4 lakhs for Sreeganth’s open heart surgery that is the only solution for all of his health problems.
“I have not yet paid back the interest of the first loan that I took, how will I take more loans. I understand that my son’s life is at stake and I want to save him. When he asks me, ‘Appa, will I be able to breathe properly one day?’ I am at a loss for words. I need help from Good Samaritans to save him because I know I will not be able to arrange such a big amount on time.”-Perumal.
Your small contribution can help this father in saving his son