“Why did the doctor do this to me? Why is my hair falling off? When will I get to go play? Why is there a pipe attached to me? When can I take this pipe off? When can I go to school again?
4-year-old Iranna, the patient
Iranna’s troubling symptoms
52-year-old Vishwanath lives in his little house in Dahisar (a suburb in Mumbai) with his family of six. This family has just one person to call as their breadwinner- their dad who works as an auto rickshaw driver. Vishwanath struggles to keep this household afloat while he grapples with Iranna’s barrage of relentless questions. His endless questions are usually met with no answers as this family is still trying to come to terms with the sheer uncertainty of 4-year-old Iranna’s life.
Iranna’s endless questions never failed to entertain his family.
“I vividly remember the day when things changed forever. Iranna woke up one morning in September 2018 and told us that he had a bad headache. He stayed in bed all day and groaned as his symptoms grew worse. His headache progressed into fever and the next thing we knew, he was in the washroom- throwing up”.
Vishwanath, Iranna’s father
He complained of terrible abdomen pain. He kept vomiting even when there was nothing left in his little body to vomit. This family panicked and rushed him to Tata Hospital, where they were told to get a CT scan done- the results of which this family could have never been prepared for.
“The doctor called my mother to his room and he requested us to stay outside. Through the glassdoor, I could see the colour in her face drain. She came out of the room, weeping profusely. We tried to piece together whatever she was telling us in between her sobs as we heard the words liver cancer come out of her mouth feebly”.
Abhishek, Iranna’s brother
Iranna with his sister- Ashwini.
They had no idea that a harmless headache for Iranna would lead to cancer. The doctors had found a cancerous knot in Iranna’s liver. They had no time to waste as they got to know that Iranna would require a liver transplant to survive. The doctors at Tata Hospital, Mumbai referred them to Global hospital for his transplant.
Vishwanath struggles to fund Iranna’s liver transplant
“The doctors at Tata Hospital told us that it is better to atleast get the chemotherapy started while we sort the finances to fund his liver transplant.”
Sujata, Iranna’s mother
Iranna wishes to stop losing his hair.
He has been through seven sessions of chemotherapy and funding that already meant that they had to sell the little jewellery that they had. They have drained their savings to its last rupee- having spent Rs 1.4 lakhs on his treatment so far. Vishwanath has come to a point where he might have to choose between trying to pay his three kids’ college fees and Iranna’s chemotherapy. Let alone, figure out a way to pay Rs. 19.5 Lakh for his liver transplant.
“I haven’t been home for days. I have either been seeking financial assistance from countless NGOs or have been going to their colleges to plead with the authorities for some leniency with their fee(s) while trying to desperately still drive the auto rickshaw. The liver transplant along with the post operative care costs Rs 19.5 lakhs. After seeing me struggle so much, my kids have told me that they are ready to forego education if it can mean that Iranna gets a second chance at life”.
This family is still holding on to the last strand of hope that has come in the form of a good news. Iranna’s mother has been found to be his donor match.The only thing that’s standing between Iranna and his cancer-free life is the lack of funds.
How can you help:
Even a small contribution from each one of you can help 4-year-old Iranna get a life-saving liver transplant.
For those of you, who cannot donate, it would be a huge help if you could spread the word on Whatsapp and Facebook so more people like you could come forward and help. Every bit from your end would mean the world to the family!