A toddler from India with painful protruding eyes who was slowly going blind has finally treatment thanks to generous readers from around the world who were moved by his plight. Zailian Kaipeng, two years old ,had been ‘constant pain’ with his swollen eyes since he was two months old but his parents were too poor to fund treatment.But that has now changed after his family’s heart-wrenching plea for help was reported by mnay news outlets including MailOnline in September and more than £10,000 was raised from around world.Finally getting medical attention, boy was diagnosed with blood cancer and is having chemotherapy.His grandmother Thaponti Kaipeng, 65 years old ,admitted they were ‘just waiting for him to die’ because there was nothing they could do for him.But now they’re thankful to the general public for helping to turn his life around.
His labourer father Nerbanglal Kaipeng, 28 years old from Tripura north eastern India, earned just Rs 150 (£1.70) a day and had found himself out of work.He told ‘A lot of people have come forward to help him. It’s such a blessing to know people like this exist in the world and I cannot thank them enough. Without their help we would not be sitting here with such amazing doctors.”He has a long road ahead’Zailian, whose swollen eyes have already drastically reduced due to treatment, is suffering from Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).He is currently at Artemis Health hospital, outside New Delhi, northern India, having chemotherapy.Dr Randeep Singh, head of oncology, at Artemis, told ‘After examination of his bone marrow it was confirmed he is suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia and we started the chemotherapy.’First we gave him oral steroids for seven days then chemotherapy injections started.’We will do a fresh bone marrow test after some time to see how his body is responding and confirm if cancer is under control.’The drastic condition of his eyes at first could have been where the leukemia had clustered behind eye but right now we need to save his life. His eyes can only be looked at once we control the cancer.’We suspect he will need chemotherapy sessions for many months to come and then we’ll review his situation. This is not an overnight thing. He has a long road ahead.”We will have to wait and see’Dr Sameer Kaushal, head of ophthalmology, at Artemis, explained that they are not sure if they can save Zailian’s vision yet.’The condition of his eyes was bad but that is not the primary problem at the moment,’ he explained.’The primary problem is the leukemia which is the root cause of eye problem. We’re not sure if he still has vision at present. We will have to wait for the chemotherapy to work and see how the body responds.’If the oribital tumour goes down with chemotherapy, then chances of retrieving his vision are high.’His condition kept worsening.Nerbanglal and the child’s mother Chengmaite, 25 years old said Zailian was born a healthy baby, but then his right eye started swelling a couple of months after birth.The family consulted local doctors but none could diagnose his condition. They gave him some medicines and sent them home but his painful symptoms got worse.The condition pushed his eyes forward so much that the eyelids could not close, forcing his eyes open for more than a year.They had revealed they felt so helpless they would justsit and stare at their son and cry.In desperation, Nerbanglal sold land for Rs 30,000 (£340) and the family cow for Rs 10,000 (£110) to pay for further medical fees, travel expenses and medicines.But Zailian’s condition just continued to worsen.Readers dug deep…After his story made global headlines on September 25, hundreds of well-wishers came forward to help.Press agency Cover Asia Press set up a crowdfunding page where £10,000 was raised in the first ten hours.Arrangements were then made for Zailian to travel to Delhi, India’s capital, for diagnosis and urgent treatment.Chengmaite had to stay at home in their rural village to take care of her other two children, brother Ringdamte, 10 years old and nine month old sister Naote.
But Zailian travelled to Delhi, with his father and grandmother.Nerbanglal is still anxious over his son’s condition but is hopeful.’I have no idea what cancer is. I just know my son is very ill. Doctors have assured me that they will do all they can to make my child healthy again one day.’They have told me not to be discouraged and have faith in God. I have faith in both God and the doctors.’To contribute towards Zailian’s further long-term treatment, aftercare and future, visit here.
WHAT IS ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA?
Leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells. All blood cells are made in the bone marrow.Bone marrow contains:Red blood cells, which carry oxygen
around the body
Platelets, which help the blood to clot and control bleeding
White blood cells, which help fight infection
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), is a cancer of immature lymphocytes, called lymphoblasts, or blast cells.There are two different types of white blood cells: lymphocytes and myeloid cells (including neutrophils).These white blood cells work together to fight infection.Normally, white blood cells develop, repair and reproduce themselves in an orderly and controlled way.In leukemia, however, the process gets out of control and the cells continue to divide in bone marrow, but do not mature.These immature dividing cells fill up bone marrow and stop it from making healthy blood cells.As the leukemia cells are not mature, they cannot work properly. This leads to an increased risk of infection.Because the bone marrow cannot make enough healthy red blood cells and platelets, symptoms such as anemia and bruising can occur.Chronic leukemias, such as ALL, usually affect adults and are extremely rare in children and young people.