Ramapati, a small-scale farmer in Dharecha village in Hanumanganj, had given up hope for the treatment of his son Rupesh, 21, who suffers from a rare disorder, Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) – commonly known as progeria.
Ramapati spent most of his savings and sold off household valuables to seek medical aid for his son but in vain.
With no option left, he resigned to fate watching his 21-year-old son, already looking older than even him, shrivel and die.
However, after a report on Rupesh’s condition got published in the April 26 edition of Hindustan Times, the state minister for health Sidhharth Nath Singh emerged as saviour.
Ramapati, his wife Shanti and Rupesh met Singh four days ago when he on a visit to the area and sought his support.
Taking note of the poor man’s problem, the health minister who is also an MLA from Allahabad West constituency, immediately asked the district magistrate and the chief medical officer to ensure all help to Rupesh and his family.
“Had met Rupesh in Kairanda village Allahabad 4 days ago & directed CMO to act asap. Happy to note progress,” the health minister tweeted on Wednesday.
“#progeria sufferer Rupesh in Allahabad. All tests done n health supplements given. Arranging home n money frm CM rahat kosh. Ration card issued,” Singh posted on Twitter.
After the minister’s directives, doctors and officials of the district administration visited Dharecha village and met the family.
On May 2, Rupesh was taken to SRN Hospital where he underwent a series of medical tests under the supervision of CMO Dr Alok Verma and principal of Moti Lal Nehru Medical College Dr SP Singh.
Later, Rupesh and his parents also met district magistrate Sanjay Kumar, who announced a financial relief from the chief minister’s fund, which includes special diet for Rupesh for next three months.
When Rupesh’s family complained they did not have a ration card, the DM admonished the officials and instructed them to provide a ration card to them at the earliest.
“We are aware he has a short life but we are now hopeful for our son. We are very grateful to the minister who provided us help and took personal interest in the case,” said Ramapati.
Dr Girish Pandey, a local physician who is taking care of Rupesh, said he received a call from a London-based organisation, which has its office in Mumbai, offering help in the treatment of Rupesh.
The organisation provides assistance in the treatment of such patients all over the world.
Rupesh was born a normal child but started showing abnormalities when he was two years of age. His head grew bigger while the body shrivelled.
As per estimates, there are seven reported cases of HGPS and potentially 66 unreported cases in India and 125 children around the globe.