A 6-year-old child has a chance at being a Paediatric Doctor.

Story of how the right kind of nutrition & counselling saved a life.

This is the story of 6-year-old Uttej, who has been battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at MNJ Cancer Hospital in Hyderabad since June 2020. “When we met Uttej, he was mildly thin and was averse to eating the prescribed diet. More than the food, we felt the child was feeling extremely alienated with the new hospital environment. So, we tried our best to make him feel at home through daily counselling sessions. Gradually Uttej took to us, and now he is extremely enthusiastic about our recommendations,” inform Anusha and Sahiti, our Nutritionists at MNJ Hyderabad.

Uttej has steadily put on weight and opened up to everyone in the hospital. Sahiti and Anusha recall how Uttej has become a keen participant in his treatment, “We monitor the nutritional intake of all our children through the Cuddles Application. The application records a child’s daily food intake and then gives a score based on what was consumed and the desired food intake. Uttej keeps a check on this score and makes sure he scores well on the app,” says Sahiti, who has fondly been nicknamed by Uttej as Food Madam. “Our son has always been interested in his studies, so the score challenges him to do better,” says Swapna, Uttej’s mother, who is happy and relieved with the change in his son’s disposition. She adds, “We were extremely stressed initially because we were not able to find an affordable hospital for Uttej’s treatment. My husband and I are both unemployed at the moment. The support we have received at MNJ through the Doctors, Nurses, and Nutritionists have turned out to be priceless. They have saved Uttej’s life.”

Uttej has a long way to go, but the Cuddles Ration Program ensures that Uttej’s appetite increases and improves his overall sense of well-being. Uttej weighs 19.8 kgs, a healthy jump from 17.1 kgs at the beginning of his treatment in June 2020. The diet is also helping him fight chemotherapy-induced side effects, which were initially causing nausea and irritation.

“I find it very comforting that Uttej is feeling better both psychologically and physically. Anusha and Sahiti have been a big help, and I work with them to make Uttej’s food interesting and healthy,” says Swapna.

Uttej wishes to become a Paediatric Doctor when he grows up. Thanks to your support he has a chance at saving the lives of many children one day.

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About Shreya Gupta

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