Last month, MiD DAY reported that a Vikhroli-based family, has been struggling to meet the exorbitant expenses incurred for the treatment of 4-year-old Aditya Singh, who suffers from Primary Immunodeficiency Disease (PID). Aditya’s father Manoj, the sole-breadwinner of the family, earns Rs 15,000 a month, whereas a single 5 gm-dose of IVIG, which his son must be administered at least once a month, costs as much as the distraught father’s salary (‘Father spends monthly salary on medicines for son with rare disease,’ April 5).
Moved by the plight of the family, readers from across the city have made donations that have amounted to Rs 1.5 lakh. The amount, collected in less than a fortnight, has brought hope and relief for the family. But before they could rejoice, dark clouds seem to have gathered on the horizon yet again. Aditya is still undergoing treatment at B J Wadia Hospital for Children, as the infection caused by a recent bout of pneumonia has spread all over his chest.
The doctors have now informed the family that the IVIG dosage for their son has to be increased — and this means that the expenses incurred by the family will get doubled. Manoj is a private company employee and supports a family of four. This becomes extremely difficult when a single dosage of his son’s life-saving drug alone amounts to his monthly salary. And then there are other medicines that have to be bought for the ailing child, which cost the father another Rs 3,000 a month.
While the donations have definitely helped the family stay afloat, they have cause for anxiety yet again, now that the dosage has to be increased from 5 gm to 6.5 grams. Each IVIG bottle contains 5-grams of the drug and costs Rs 15,000. Since the dosage has been hiked to 6.5 gm, the family will have to purchase two full bottles each time Aditya needs the drug, spending Rs 30,000.
An emotional Manoj said, “After the report by MiD DAY, several donors contacted me and sent me funds for my son’s treatment. I have received a total of Rs 1.5 lakh so far, which has helped me in a huge way.” The distraught father thanked all the donors with tears in his eyes. The only option left with the Singhs is to opt for a bone marrow transplant, which will cost them around Rs 20 lakh, and does not guarantee a 100 per cent cure. But the family hopes that they will find a perfect match for their son’s bone marrow. If they do, another struggle to raise Rs 20 lakh awaits them.