When 23-year-old Amitava Chatterjee from West Bengal, India, was diagnosed with severe Hemophilia A at the age of six months, his family and village—who had little understanding of the inherited bleeding disorder—gave up on him, expecting him to die young.
Even though his parents had been advised by their doctor to take Amitava to the nearby hemophilia society in the city of Durgapur, they didn't go. Hearing pessimistic thoughts frequently at home, Amitava too developed the feeling that he would not survive long. Being the only child with hemophilia and also the only boy in a family with two older sisters, he felt lonely. Repeated internal bleeds crippled him and frequent dental bleeds became routine. For a period of two years, Amitava was out of school sitting in a wheelchair due to knee bleeds.
It wasn't until he was fourteen and unable to walk that his mother pulled together the funds to take him to the society. That moment in 2008 changed Amitava's life.
By meeting others—especially adults—with hemophilia, Amitava realized that he too can survive. He started to dream of a brighter future. The society enrolled Amitava in the sponsorship program of Save One Life, and he began to receive direct financial assistance to help with basic needs and educational fees. His mother explained his situation to the school head master and gradually Amitava completed high school.
Amitava eventually arranged to get corrective surgery on his knee so that he could walk again. Unfortunately, during the operation he developed an inhibitor, which is an adverse reaction of the body to blood clotting medicine. Still, he was determined and now, again with help from the scholarship program of Save One Life, Amitava is a third year engineering student at the Mallabhum Institute of Technology—something that even a healthy child in his remote village can only dream of. Amitava declares, “The immense and regular financial support from Save One Life has helped me to persevere in my studies.”
This young man—who at one point no one believed in—has a promising future now thanks to the encouragement of his hemophilia patient society and the long-term support of Save One Life.
More than 100 students with hemophilia like Amitava have benefitted from Save One Life's sholarship program since its inception in 2012. We have helped young men from eleven countries successfully become accountants, graphic designers, pharmacists, physiotherapists, computer engineers, nurses and mariners. We hope to graduate our first doctors and lawyers in the coming years!
An average annual scholarship is $800 to $1,000. Through this campaign, we'll be able to send at least 25 more promising young people to college. Thank you for your support!