Saurabh Rane was 20 years old when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Rane, who was at the peak of his fitness and in the middle of the busiest time of his life since he was starting work as a doctor, found his life completely changes after he fell ill. He was started on medication that did not help much. He continued to get fevers, lose weight and feel confused, anxious and exhausted.
Further tests showed that Rane was a case of extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis, which mean that the first and second line of drugs used to treat the disease would not work on him and that the success rate of treatment for cases like his were low. Rane’s doctor recommended that he be started on Bedaquiline, one of the newest TB drugs known to attack multi drug-resistant bacteria and being released in a phased manner by India’s national TB programme.
However, Rane heart rate and calcium levels were higher than the acceptable range in which he could take the drug. His doctor then put him on to an alternative regimen of toxic and potent drugs that are also used in cases of extreme resistance. While these drugs treated the TB, Rane suffered side effects like the partial loss of his eyesight, hearing, touch and sensation as well as thyroid imbalances and depression.
Rane has since overcome many of these health effects and has been cured of the disease now. He has gone back to work and his normal life and even run marathons and undertakes strenuous treks to prove his recovery to himself. Rane, advocate for the right of every person to be diagnosed and treated correctly and for life-saving drugs to be provided in a timely manner to those in need, narrates the story of his bounce back.