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Muscular dystrophy cripples family in Suryapet mandal

S. Ramu

— PHOTO: R. Biksham Ruther

Please help: Pichhi Reddy and his wife, Padma, helping their sons, who are suffering from muscular dystrophy as their polio-affected daughter, Saritha, looks on at Pillalamarri in Nalgonda district.

PILLALAMARRI (NALGONDA DT.): Muscular dystrophy has literally crippled a family in this village in Suryapet mandal. Not one but two children of the family have been rendered bedridden by the dreaded disease for the last seven years and it is in dire need of support from donors.

Like any other children of their age, Nagender Reddy (16) and Santosh Reddy (14) enjoyed their childhood much to the joy of their parents--Gavva Pichhi Reddy and Padma. The couple found solace in the two energetic boys since their eldest daughter was struggling hard with polio-affected hands.

“Initially, we didn’t understand what was going wrong with Nagender. We thought it was a mild problem pertaining to nerves. He used to collapse while playing and walking. Later, my second son too developed the same symptoms. Doctors confirmed in 2001 that it was muscular dystrophy,” their mother Padma said with a broken heart.

She has been spending sleepless nights for the last seven years to take care of her two sons, who can’t move a bit without support. Though the disease in which muscles of the body get weaker and weaker and slowly stop working, the two children are mentally sound. It’s disheartening to see them consoling their caring parents.

“We are told that there is no cure for the disease. We don’t know what will happen to the children after our death,” Pichhi Reddy, a worker in a granite polishing unit in the nearby town of Suryapet, said while fighting back his tears. With his meagre earnings, he is unable to run the family. To multiply the woes of the already poverty-stricken family, his eyesight is diminishing forcing him to cut short the working days.

The hapless father maintained that he had met the Chief Minister and other dignitaries seeking help but it was of no use. “The couple is unable to come to terms with facts. They wish to feed the two children till they breathe their last,” N.Venkataramana Reddy, a relative of the family, observed.

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