Kerala baby saved from vision loss, gets critical treatment amidst lockdown
Amidst the worrying news about the rapid spread of coronavirus in India, comes a lovely story of hope. Anvitha, a baby in Kerala, was undergoing treatment for eye cancer. The lockdown meant her family could not travel out of the state for a crucial surgery. Read how social media, the Kerala government and hospital authorities came together for Anvitha.
Diagnosed with eye cancer soon after birth, Anvitha has been traveling to Hyderabad’s L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) from Alallpuzha in Kerala for treatment for nearly two years now. She has retinoblastoma, a life-threatening form of eye cancer.
Anvitha was due for a cycle of Intra-arterial chemotherapy when the lockdown was announced. Her father, Vineeth Vijayan, who works as an electrician was worried about how they would travel to Hyderabad. The chemotherapy cycles are critical for retinoblastoma patients. Doctors advise patients not to delay this.
Treatment critical to save Anvitha’s vision & life
A worried Vineeth took to social media to talk about his family’s plight and appealed for help. The response he got from the public and authorities has overwhelmed him and wife Gopika.
“Help poured in from every corner. What was truly moving was, when my wife received a call from our State Health Minister KK Shailaja just within a day of my post on Facebook.”, says Vineeth. “She inquired about our baby’s health and made arrangements for our travel to Hyderabad, including getting the necessary permissions from all the four states we had to pass through for the ambulance and two drivers”.
Highest level intervention on the part of Kerala government
Even the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan heard about Anvitha’s story and stepped in. he asked KK Shailaja to make sure that Anvitha and her family traveled to Hyderabad and back in the same ambulance.
All this help and support ensured that Anvitha’s family managed to reach LVPEI in Hyderabad this week and undergo treatment.
It is commendable how various individuals, organisations and state governments came together to help Anvitha. What is equally commendable is the commitment of her parents. They did not let the lockdown delay her treatment. Patients undergoing cancer treatments need close monitoring and it follow-ups are critical. With regular medical care, there are good chances that Anvitha’s sight will be saved. – Dr Swathi Kaliki, Head, Eye Cancer Services, L V Prasad Eye Institute
Vineeth is happy and grateful for the outcome. “We were under extreme agony that if we miss this visit, then the entire treatment so far would go in vain. Our daughter’s survival would be under threat. We are so relieved to know that our daughter is doing better now, and thank each and every person who ensured that we got the needed care in time”.
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