Thiruvananthapuram: For 13 years, Lijo has been living with the help of a ventilator at home.
The neurology department chief and colleagues at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences visited Lijo at his rented house at Parassala in Thiruvananthapuram the other day. Doctors testify that rarely does a patient survive on a home ventilator for such a long period.
Lijo was afflicted with the rare disease, acute encephalomyelitis neuropathy, in 2007 and was paralysed below the neck. He was then taken to the Sree Chitra.
Lijo was discharged from the Sree Chitra Institute in November 2008.
Sree Chitra neurology chief Dr Sanjeev Thomas, who brought Lijo back to life, said that the Rs 3-lakh home ventilator was brought with the contributions made by Manorama readers then.
The disease struck Lijo at a time when he had got B.Tech admission. A good table tennis player, Lijo had also secured the third spot in the state school meet.
The ventilator was changed once with the help of the local people. Now, even that has become old.
If the ventilator does not function even for 15 minutes, Lijo's life would be in danger. When the power supply is disrupted, the inverter is necessary. The monthly power bill is over Rs 6,000.
Under brother’s care
Lijo's parents looked after him with utmost care. But first his father died and then his mother. The family also lost their house and 30 cents of land for treatment and care.
After his parents' demise, Lijo's brother Vipin took up his care. Vipin has to look after the entire family, including his ill sister. Despite the several setbacks, Vipin yearns to see his brother alive.
Vipin feeds his younger brother and takes care of all his needs. He has also fitted a mike for Lijo to call him in the night.
As they do not have their own home, the family have to keep shifting from one rented place to another.
(Vipin has an account at the SBI Parassala branch. Number 20179821037, IFS code – SBIN0010694)