A Bandra-based family foundation has offered to bear the medical expenses of Surya Mariappa, the four-and-a-half-year-old malnourished boy who weighs only six kilograms - at least five kilos underweight. Mariappa, admitted at Sion hospital, lost his vision to vitamin A deficiency due to severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
The foundation, which did not wish to be named, got in touch with the hospital. "We read of Surya's condition. We will help in whatever way we can," said a member of the foundation. The foundation donated Rs 7000 for CT scans of Mariappa's chest and abdomen. "There is water accumulation in his abdomen that needs urgent attention. Fortunately, the foundation offered to help," said Dr Alka Jadhav, professor of paediatric medicine, Sion Hospital. She said Mariappa's health is improving. "We will get him operated once he is fit to undergo the corneal transplant surgery."
Meanwhile, doctors at the hospital are counselling Veni, Mariappa's aunt who has been taking care of him after his mother's death, to re-enroll her daughters Bhawani, 5, and 20-month-old Kutima at the hospital's interventional program for malnourished children. The children were admitted to the same ward with with SAM. However, they dropped out midway.