Purnima Rastogi

On the act of selflessness

Purnima Rastogi sacrificed most of her years taking care of her daughter who suffered from 'Cerebellar Atrophy'. Purnima, a woman of courage and patience never complained and took care of the family with a smiling face.

Hello, my name is Ajay Rastogi. This story is about my wife Purnima Rastogi and my daughter Oyesha. We live in Faridabad. It is about the sacrifices my wife has made while taking care of my daughter, who was suffering from an incurable brain disease. Actually, my daughter was almost in a coma.

I am working as General Manager in a Pvt. Ltd. company, in Faridabad. My wife has a Masters degree in commerce. We are married for the last 17 years. We have two children - a son of 21 years of age who is doing his LLB graduation and a daughter of 13 years of age. We shifted to Faridabad from Delhi in the year 1999, owing to my job location.

My daughter was born on 17th January 2000. She was a normal child when she was born. When she was 3 years old, we noticed that, she did not behave like a normal child. She was not able to speak clearly, do the finer things. She wasn't able to clearly hold a pencil in her hand. We decided to consult a doctor. The doctor told us to take speaking classes for her. Which we did but did not get any result out of it. Then we took her to the Holy family hospital in Delhi. The HOD of Paediatric department told us to get her MRI done. The MRI report gave us the biggest shock of our life. It said that my daughter is suffering from 'Cerebellar Atrophy'. Cerebellar atrophy is a disease in where neurons in the cerebellum (the area of the brain that controls coordination and balance) deteriorates and dies.

Before she was diagnosed with the disease, my daughter went to school like a normal child and she has won many prizes. But as she grew this disease also grew, and has literally brought her to bed. Now she was lying on the bed all the time. Her hands, legs, fingers have become so rigid that we cannot move them. She had been keeping her hands and legs in a particular position only. Her bones started protruding out from knees, elbows, and finger joints. Her teeth have also decayed. She was being given food through a feeding tube. There are bed sores on her body that is not healing, constantly giving her pain.

My wife was taking care of my daughter all throughout the day. We cannot leave our daughter alone so my wife has to be with her all the time. We cannot think of going out for a family outing. It was almost nine years that my wife was taking care of our daughter. My wife has a very sharp mind and easily finds solutions to the problems arising out of the deteriorating condition of my daughter. She always remains happy and accepted this as a living reality. I am not able to explain in words how my wife has devoted her life to this situation and at the same time keeping herself happy and joyful and taking care of my son and me. Thanks.

Now that my daughter is no more, but due to constant care that she needed my wife has developed a cervical problem, causing pain in her neck and back all the time. But she is still taking care of the whole house with a smiling face and hiding her pain and emotions.

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