When our nutritionist Jesindha at Kauvery Hospital, Trichy, first met three-and-a-half-year-old Yuvan, he was moderately malnourished as a result of B-cell Acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL). Bad weather and unfortunate rains had washed away this agricultural family’s hopes of monetary and food security for the year, and the only question swimming around their minds was “How will we cope?!” Nonetheless, they relentlessly sought out treatment and gave Yuvan every chance possible of finding a cure.
“When you see what these people have to go through for their children, you can’t just stop at being a healthcare provider. You end up becoming their counsellor, their helper and their friend. You have to be constantly watchful to help them stay on track and stay hopeful. Yuvan used to find it very difficult to eat. So I had to be extra creative and find ways to get him excited about food. One suggestion I gave them was to make fun shapes of dosas with different colours of chutney. It was a huge hit with him!”, Jesindha tells us.
The supplements, rations and in-meals programmes that you make possible for Yuvan and his family keep them positive. Depending on the side effects of the cancer treatment and its symptoms, Jesindha had to make all the right interventions to change his diet from a bland diet to a soft diet to a liquid diet to make sure nutrition was never missed. His nutritional status has improved and he’s been fighting the side effects of treatment successfully. With every little win supported by the right diet, their hope grows brighter.
Here’s what Velakannu, Yuvan’s father, has to say –
“We didn’t have money for our daily needs, let alone travel from the village. We were so afraid to start treatment because we didn’t know whether we’d be able to keep up. But we are glad that we did, and grateful that we found all of you. I would ask all parents in my situation to look for the right doctor and hospital. Help will come when you stay hopeful.”
We also want to make a special mention to another family from the hospital of better means who helped Yuvan’s family with money for travel & medicines. Together with you, Yuvan is lucky to have all kinds of support working together to get him out of bed and back to the playground.