We often hear of heart-wrenching stories that tug at our heartstrings, but what happens when it is your spouse is being diagnosed with the Big C, and when fear and a sense of helplessness strikes you hard?
Suriia, 47 years old, is a devoted husband to his wife, Sarojini. Saronjini was diagnosed with a series of illnesses including advanced metastatic ovarian cancer, 6 years after she was first hit with abdominal discomfort back in 2010. She underwent various thorough checks in a government hospital, but tests did not reveal that she was suffering from something more severe than just abdominal pain. The couple gave their all, in hope of finding a cure for the persistent pain, until a news finally came crashing into their world in December 2016 – Sarojini was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and only has 30% chance of surviving from her aggressive form of cancer - the greatest hurdle in both their lives.
In January 2017, Sarojini underwent surgery to remove her womb completely and even had severe retina complications. Suriia told us that her it pains him deeply to know that she is in constant, agonizing pain every single day. Her weight has also plunged from 76kg to 36kg.
Help Needed – Give Hope
Suriia has been caring for his wife tirelessly since her diagnosis, and he has explored finding the best doctors and treatments in both government and private hospitals for the love of his life. He was eventually referred to an ovarian Cancer Specialist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where they managed to reduce the volume of her cancer cells from stage 4 to stage 3C.
When the case workers met Suriia, he confided in us that no words can express his helplessness as he’s struggling with the exorbitant bills. He told us that over the years, he had tried all ways to seek help – from meeting MPs and various government agencies to licensed moneylenders to find hope. Yet eventually, he has exhausted his means. But even with his hopes dimmed, the loving husband does not wish to give up any glimpse of hope on getting his wife treated.
Even with his gross salary of S$3,600 per month, Suriia is unable to sustain the huge financial burden that battling cancer has taken on them , especially when each chemotherapy treatment costs them around S$16,000. Although their insurance will pay 70% of the bill, the balance 30% which amounts to S$4,800 has to be paid in cash by them after Suriia’s Medifund has been wiped out. Over the years, they have also incurred medical arrears which add up to close to S$6,200. On top of this, Suriia has to pay for the family's living arrears, including putting food on the table for their 19-year-old school going son.
Quoting Suriia, “I want her to have hope and fight it, hope will bring miracle. My son and I can’t afford to lose her. She is the love of our lives, in fact she is the reason why I am alive. To them it is just a person but to me she is everything”.
Thus, ROHI would like to urgently raise $9,896 to help the couple with the following:
- $896 for Sarojini’s outstanding insurance premium so that she will not lose her insurance coverage (Payment will be made directly to the insurance company). - $7000 for 5-months of medication estimated at $1,400 per month (Payment will be made directly to the hospital) - $2,000 for the hiring of a helper to take care of Sarojini while Suriia is at work
*Suriia & Sarojini are currently not receiving any public governement assistance. Give Asia has also reached out to the couple to raise funds solely for Sarojini's chemotherapy fees.