PETALING JAYA: Although she is blind, 64-year-old Premila Kumari PKV Pillai maintains a cheerful and positive disposition. But she breaks down when she speaks of her only son, Anoop Raj, 41, who urgently requires funds for a kidney transplant.
Anoop has been suffering from kidney disease since he was 24, when he developed gout and was prescribed painkillers. Ten years later, he was told his kidneys were dysfunctional.
“During a regular visit to the doctor, I was diagnosed with stage-four chronic kidney disease even though I do not have a history of diabetes or blood pressure,” he says.
According to Anoop, a former human resource manager, the disease was irreversible by this point, and there was nothing medications would do. He has since been on dialysis every alternate day.
“My haemoglobin levels depleted rapidly, and I also require blood at regular intervals, along with erythropoietin injections. The purpose of these is to generate blood and temporarily sustain and stabilise my body until a transplant.”
He adds that each dialysis treatment is painful and leaves him exhausted the following day.
The first transplant
In 2017, Anoop went for his first transplant. “However, it only lasted for four years and three months, as my body subsequently rejected the kidney,” he tells FMT in a video call from India, where he is undergoing treatment.
It was eventually confirmed that his kidney failure was caused by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a disease where scar tissue develops on the parts of the kidney known as glomeruli, which filter waste from the blood.
“The doctors have advised that I go in for an urgent transplant, which requires funds I don’t have,” Anoop says, adding that it is his “last hope to stay alive”.
With him overseas, Premila is home alone in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur – and this is something that breaks his heart.
“I want a chance to take care of her in her old age,” he says.
A mother’s hope
Premila recalls the day Anoop began experiencing kidney issues. “I never expected that the gout was an external symptom of something more serious. It was a very stressful period, but I found solace in my faith,” she tells FMT.
To date, she estimates they have spent approximately RM500,000, and Anoop does not have insurance due to his condition. They have depleted all his earnings and what Premila has been able to spare.
“Now, approximately RM200,000 is required for the transplant and postoperative hospital costs. At this point, it is a matter of life and death,” she adds.
Describing Anoop as an independent person who has never been a burden, Premila continues to encourage him when he is feeling down.
“I tried my best to prepare suitable meals for him. If I could work, I would support him financially,” she says, explaining that she lost her vision in 2015 from retinitis pigmentosa.
“He has always been a very good son, and I miss him. I hope he will recover fully and – just as there have been many who have helped him – someday he, too, will help others and be a blessing to many.”
Those who wish to help Premila and Anoop can send a WhatsApp message to FMT’s Helpline at 019-3899839. Please do not call.