Around five years ago, as part of my blogging journey, I read about Aditi* on a blog I regularly read. She was the teenage daughter of a blogger, whom I knew almost like a child of my house, having read about her achievements, mischief and more in her mother’s words over the years.
Aditi was admitted in the ICU. She had been diagnosed with Dengue around 4 days ago. Aditi’s platelet count was falling at an alarming rate and despite many efforts; the doctors felt her situation was grave.
Aditi’s family had been struggling at arranging blood for her rare blood group. In the hour of panic, Aditi’s mother scribbled a few lines on her blog stating Aditi’s critical condition, calling for help in finding blood donors and requesting to pray for a miracle to save her child’s life.
Needless to say, in that era when social media wasn’t as powerful a medium as it is today, her (well read) blog did catch the eye of a handful of blood donors but unfortunately they were located in cities almost a thousand kilometers from where Aditi was.
The whole blogging world got busy praying that somehow Aditi could find a blood donor, somehow a miracle might save her but we lost Aditi a day later at a tender age of eighteen. Needless to say, her family was torn apart and also the people connected to them.
I felt helpless, devastated and panic struck after this episode. I can vividly remember spending many sleepless nights after this incident, because of the connect I felt with the mother (the blogger) who had lost her child to Dengue.
Till today, the very mention of ‘Dengue’ brings to me memories of Aditi and what happened to her.
Life moved on and in the days that followed I made a conscious effort to learn all about this mosquito-borne viral infection ~ Dengue.
This year, the Dengue epidemic is at its all time worst.
“Severe Dengue disease is more common in babies and young children, and in contrast to many other infections, it is more common in children who are relatively well nourished.”
Being a mother, I have been worried about my child being exposed to mosquitoes in school, at playground and everywhere outside the safety net of home. I have been ensuring to slather mosquito repellents religiously, taking care Pari wears full sleeves and full length trousers most of the time. But all it takes is just one mosquito bite to throw all the precautions for a toss.
Last month, a frantic call from a close family friend at 5 am woke up my father. It was from Mukesh Uncle whose twelve year old daughter Payal* had been diagnosed with Dengue and was battling between life and death.
History had chosen to repeat itself. Only the name had changed from Aditi to Payal, rest everything was still the same. The gravity of situation, the difficulty in finding a blood donor, the spread of Dengue and even the helplessness felt by the families of Dengue patients were still unchanged.
This was when I came across the #SavePayal initiative:
This is a commendable initiative that aims to call out for help from people all over India to pledge their support to help fight Dengue and donate blood to save lives. It is time to stop feeling helpless and be the ray of hope, the life savior of someone battling Dengue. I have wholeheartedly pledged my support to this initiative.
I am not the only one who has pledged, because this time unlike Aditi, Payal successfully found a blood donor and she succeeded in her battle against Dengue. Her smile is a reminder, of how we can make a difference.
Are you ready to help save Payal, Aditi and others from Dengue?
Then call ‘All Out’ and pledge your support to help fight Dengue at this toll free number: 1800180181818
For further details to help you save your family from Dengue, please visit this website.
* Names have been changed to protect identity.