Local high school senior coping with mother’s serious cancer

Published 11:36 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

Chaitanya Sigatapu lives along Jimmy Johnson Boulevard with his mother and father while attending Port Neches Groves-High School as a senior.

Unfortunately, instead of focusing on his final year of high school, Chaitanya is spending as much time as possible caring for his sick mother and praying.

He recently launched a gofundme.com page under the “My mom with stage 4 breast cancer” header.

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The family of three moved to Port Arthur in 2014 and quickly developed “a pretty strong bond” within the city and her new school district.

“All the friends and teachers I’ve met along the way are very memorable and have always been welcoming,” said Chaitanya, 17.

According to Chaitanya, his mother, Sasikala Guntamukkala, wasn’t feeling well in June, which was when his grandma passed away.

“But on Sept. 6, (mom) said she was experiencing shortness of breath,” Chaitanya recalls. “I called 911 around 3 a.m., and the EMTs rushed her to the ER. They then switched her to MD Anderson in Houston. They put one catheter in both lungs to drain fluid. Two days ago her doctors told us that there isn’t much they can do for her. So she’s in palliative care for now.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, palliative care focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness. It also can help cope with side effects from medical treatments.

Chaitanya said he and his father, Bhaskar Rao Sigatapu are “praying for a miracle.”

Chaitanya said he has always been “very close” with her mother.

“We always watch documentaries on History Channel,” Chaitanya said. “She’s loves to cook, she likes to meditate a lot and is also very religious. I’ve always enjoyed watching those interesting documentaries with her.”