New Delhi, Aug 30 (PTI) Over the last 11 years, Jaya Lakshmi has sold all her jewellery, her mother-in-law gifted on her wedding, for the treatment of her son who suffers from cerebral palsy. But the situation is getting tougher for the family with her husband's salary reduced by half due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The parents are struggling to provide treatment to Ujjawal who cannot walk properly.
From doctors in Delhi to panchakarma therapy in Kerala to treatment at the Udaipur Narayan Seva Sansthan, the couple has explored all options and has spent Rs 30 lakhs on their 11-year-old son’s treatment till now.
'Ujjawal was fine at birth. His physical growth slowed down when he was seven months old. Initially, doctors said he exhibited development delays,' Lakshmi said.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders caused by damage to the immature brain as it develops, most often before birth. It affects movement and muscle tone or posture.
'These 11 years have been excessively difficult, full of struggles. We have spent all we had on Ujjawal's treatment. I sold all the 10 tolas (100 grams) jewellery my mother-in-law gifted me on my wedding to afford treatment for my son,' she said, choking on her tears.
But it was only in January that they could witness a tangible improvement in the boy's condition.
'Finally, we have got a doctor who brought a positive change in the boy's condition, but we do not have money for treatment now,' she said.
Ujjawal's doctor, Dr Ranbir Singh, said the boy needs physiotherapy at home twice a day.
Using a wheelchair to take the boy to hospital will be demotivating and is not advisable, the doctor said, adding that physiotherapy at home is the way ahead.
Lakshmi said, “Around Rs 15 lakh is needed --Rs 30,000 a month -- for four years of treatment. Due to the pandemic, my husband's salary has been reduced by half. He earns Rs 15,000, of which Rs 5,000 is spent on rent.” She said her maternal family did not support her and rejected the child because of his disability.
'The kid knows we are struggling financially and says when he will be fit, he will set everything right,' Lakshmi said.
Ujjawal, who is a student of Class 4, loves playing the keyboard and tries reproducing the music he listens to on YouTube.
For the last three months, Ujjawal's parents have been providing therapy to him.
'But we are not experts, there is a difference between what we do and what a doctor does,' she said.
'The doctor has been helping us online but we cannot ask him for more. We need some help so that our kid is back on his feet again,' the mother added. PTI GVS ANB ANB