I am about to describe what was the longest night of our lives.
In December 2017, my daughter Ishwari began developing a fever. Even at 3-years, she was much smaller and feeble than other children her age, so my wife and I worried easily when she fell ill.
But on that night, her condition worsened. She vomited blood, so much blood that it almost covered the whole of the bathroom floor. There was no hospital nearby to take her. It would take us at least an hour to reach there. My wife held Ishwari and prayed during the entire journey.
We reached the hospital and the doctors immediately ran tests. Her haemoglobin and platelet count had lowered drastically. She was diagnosed with Fanconi Anaemia, a genetic blood disorder that hinders the body’s ability to produce blood cells.
The disease was in its end stage and only a bone marrow transplant could save her.
I was identified as a 50% matching stem cell donor, but the odds were not in our favour. A transplant with just a 50% match had never been conducted before and the risk was very high.
But Ishwari’s condition kept deteriorating and we had to take the risk. We also had to gather Rs. 15 lakhs immediately - an amount that is hard to imagine for a simple man like me.
I have been the sole supporter of my family of 6. I’ve done my best to take care of them and fulfill my responsibilities. I took loans amounting to Rs. 13 lakhs to educate my brother, pay for my sister’s wedding and get an operation for my mother. Ishwari’s treatment, including tests and hospital visits have cost us Rs. 1 lakh - the last bit of my savings had also been exhausted.
I undertook the massive task of gathering Rs. 15 lakhs for the transplant. I am a primary school teacher in Thane, Mumbai. I teach 25 tribal kids and earn only Rs. 30,000 each month. I borrowed and loaned to gather the money and get my Ishwari the transplant.
Despite the risks, the transplant was successful - one of the first cases in India where a 50% match was successful. We rejoiced that our prayers had been heard and my Ishwari had been saved.
But the battle isn’t over. Ishwari still needs 9 months in the hospital to be completely healthy. Postoperative care is extremely important as she might catch infection or her condition might relapse.
But I can no longer pay hospital bills. She needs constant medicines and test that I cannot pay for. The doctors have said that we will at least need Rs. 15 lakh more for post-operative care, and I tremble to think how I’d be able to raise so much money again.
We need your urgent and kind help to save my daughter. Whatever you can contribute will go a great way in helping us during our tough time. Please consider donating and sharing our story with your friends on Facebook and Whatsapp so we can raise funds for her treatment.
Please pray for my Ishwari.