KOCHI: When eight-year-old Abina Byju was diagnosed with a life-threatening liver disease amid the Covid-19 pandemic, her family was shattered. A daily wage worker, her father Byju S refused to give up on his daughter and decided to do everything to save her life. “My daughter became sick all of a sudden after the schools were closed. There was a yellowish tint in the whites of her eyes. We suspected jaundice and got her tested in a nearby lab. When the results came they said more tests were required. Later we took her to the a hospital in the capital city. She was hospitalised for nearly 20 days in the ICU.
Even though she was discharged, her condition worsened again. Her stomach started bloating and needed urgent surgery. The doctors said she wouldn’t make it without a liver transplant,” says Byju, who hails from Neyyatinkara in Thiruvananthapuram. Money, however, was an obstacle. “We got a lot of help and was referred to a private hospital in Kochi for the surgery. My brother was ready to be a donor and one of my friends also came forward to donate a liver. The doctor said it would be best for her if I donated blood because I was a perfect match,” says Byju. “We got around `10 lakh from the Kerala Social Security Mission, we paid `5.5 lakh and the rest of the amount were donated by the NGO Milaap,” says Byju.
“It was through the staff at the hospital that Byju came to know about online crowdfunding and decided to launch a campaign on Milaap. Through the campaign, we were able to raise `11.81 lakh. Now, `9.5 lakh remains and we will be releasing the fund based on the bills generated at the hospital,” says Mubeen Mohammad Ali Khan, a member of the corporate communication team of Milaap.
Against all odds
Abina became sick all of a sudden after the schools were closed. There was a yellowish tint in the whites of her eyes. Her family suspected jaundice and got her tested in a nearby lab. Later she was taken to a hospital in the capital city.