Empathy heals as much as nutrition does.

Story of how a strong mother and a sensitive Nutritionist motivated a 12-year-old.

Before 12-year-old Vaishna was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, she was busy living a carefree life and dreaming of being a doctor when she grows up. The diagnosis rocked Vaishna’s normal life and she was admitted to MMHRC, Madurai for treatment.

Apart from the emotional and financial strain on Vaishna and her family, there was another change that made this road to recovery complicated. Vaishna’s mother, Alagusakhti, gave birth to a baby boy just when Vaishna’s treatment began.

“I was looking forward to being with my baby brother and playing with him. But the treatment took away a lot of time from my brother and friends,” says Vaishna. But Vaishna’s mother was extremely agile in spite of the initial shock. “We were shattered with Vaishna’s diagnosis. I am a housewife and my father recently lost his job. Thanks to the support we got from Cuddles Foundation, we could provide Vaishna with all the food she needed to get better. I am now keen on spending time with my newborn son and Vaishna so we can together bond as a family again.”

Vaishna’s mother played a pivotal role in her recovery. Nivetha, our Nutritionist at MMHRC Madurai, vouches for Alagusakhti’s strength during this difficult time. “Vaishna’s mother invested a lot of time in learning about her daughter’s condition and valued my nutritional inputs to her treatment. While I recommended key ingredients that should be part of Vaishna’s diet, Alagusakhti found a way to combine these ingredients so Vaishna would also enjoy the food. For example, she combined roti & dosa with green gram ladoos which Vaishna really enjoyed,” says Nivetha.

Nivetha was also successful in helping Vaishna grow stronger. She was initially hesitant towards the new diet program, but Nivetha’s bond with Vaishna made the difference. “It is very important to be empathetic toward the patient. I was able to win Nivetha’s confidence by explaining the nutritional value of each of the ingredients and how it will help her recover quickly. I also shared my own food preferences with her which included many of the ingredients prescribed to her,” says Nivetha.

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About Shreya Gupta

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