He can’t even move his fingers anymore. In fact, he will scream in pain if anyone even touches his hand by mistake. Our daughters help him sit up but that’s the most he can do. I remember when I had come home from work and seen cockroaches crawling all over his face. The monsoons had beckoned all the roaches out of their hiding and as none of us were at home, there was no one to help him move away from them. Till this day, that sight of him being so helpless and empty still brings tears to my eyes.
I was being fed the wrong medication since months!
6 years ago, 30-year-old Deepak had been diagnosed with Typhoid at a local clinic. He was on medication to control the fever that had become his constant companion. He would have good days and bad days during this time. Either he’d wake up paralysed in unbearable pain or would be running about to drop his daughters to school. This continued for some months until there were no good days left.
He would fight through the pain with clenched teeth every day. His back had given up but he would still insist on going to work. My husband has always been very adamant that way - he doesn’t like to give up. But gradually, even our daughters started noticing that their papa wasn’t the same anymore, He took more pills than food and his cheerful eyes now seemed dazed and tired. We decided to take him to Safdarjung - a government hospital, in Delhi to get him checked completely.
Turns out that it was not Typhoid but Bone Marrow Tuberculosis that ailed Deepak. The incorrect diagnosis and medication had ruined Deepak’s once healthy body. It seemed like he had aged overnight and his wife could barely recognize the man she loved anymore. He was always tired, and needed help with the simplest of things - whether it was just drinking water or combing his hair.
In Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi my TB medical bills were covered by the government itself. However, the doctors knew there was more to my case and asked me to get MRIs and blood tests done. The price of these together was equivalent to my entire one month salary. I would get one scan done and they would give me the name of another. There were months where I had no money and I just lay on my bed until we had saved enough to get my tests done.
“The diagnosis that paralysed me completely”
After months of patience and struggle, Deepak was diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis, which is the death of bone tissue due to lack of blood supply. The dying bone tissues are spreading at a rapid rate throughout his body which is already weakened by the incorrect medication taken earlier. If left untreated for too long, Deepak’s body could shut down completely.
“We had no money and all the bills in the world”
By 2013, Deepak couldn’t work anymore. His job as a personal assistant used to bring about Rs. 8500 and without it, the women of the house .i.e. Deepak’s wife and mother, had to step up and start working. Deepak’s wife works as a domestic help while his mother has a small tea stall, close to where they live in Delhi. Together, they earn upto Rs. 4000 per month and keep the house functioning somehow.
The doctors kept referring us to private hospitals as they didn’t have the facilities to treat him. The private hospitals saw right through our desperation, thanks to our tattered clothes. They would tell us that the big doctor isn’t in or that we needed to redo all the tests and scans before they would consider our case, knowing full well that there was no way we could afford it all over again.
Medical treatment at the cost of daughter’s education...
The family spent two years trying all the hospitals in and around Delhi but to no avail. Due to the heavily increasing financial burden, their 6-year-old daughter, Rikki was taken out of school. Their older daughter, 8-year-old Ritika would have met the same fate but thankfully she became applicable for the BPL quota and the government took care of her fees. Meanwhile, Deepak’s health depleted rapidly and the once active man is now bedridden completely.
I constantly worried about him due to his bedridden condition. Someone needs to be by his side, perpetually. One day, I had stepped out for a bit only to come back and see him be practically engulfed by flames. After we put the fire out, he painfully explained to me that the incense stick that we had lit that day, had tumbled down and fallen directly onto the cloth pile below. It caught on fire almost instantly and he had screamed with all his lungs, but to no avail. He tearfully exclaimed to me that he saw the fire coming on to him and almost wished for it to destroy him for he hated living like this. - Monica
“I wake up and remind myself each day - there is hope for me yet!”
Since the last 3 years, Deepak is surviving on basic medication and painkillers. There is a rapid growth of dying bone tissue that is threatening to the put the 30-year-old’s life in grave danger. He needs Rs. 20 lakhs to be able to have his hip surgery and ongoing hospital care. The treatment would help him walk again and relieve him of all the pain that he has been carrying with him since the past 6 years. He needs your help to live like he once used to - happy and free.
When too many people start acting like your life doesn’t matter, you start believing it too. It got to a point where I even thought of committing suicide. If it hadn’t been for my wife and kids, I wouldn’t have come this far. But I can only get better now with your help. Please, please help us.
How You Can Help
Deepak has been suffering since the last 6 years. He spent the first year being incorrectly diagnosed with Typhoid instead of Bone Marrow Tuberculosis and taking in the wrong medication that further worsened his already deteriorating health. The next two years were spent visiting every major hospital in Delhi in hopes that someone would accept his case and treat him for the rapidly growing Avascular Necrosis that was threatening to take away his life. The 30-year-old patient is currently in a paralysis-like state and has been surviving for the last 3 years on painkillers to medication from a government hospital. His hip surgery and ongoing hospital care total up to Rs 20 lakhs. He does not have much time left and he needs your help to end his suffering and save his life.
You can also share his story on Whatsapp and Facebook so that he can reach out to more people like you.