The story of 65-year-old Jawaid Qureshi and his struggle for survival are not ordinary. Having worked at the Ministry of Health for over 30 years, he was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disorder last year wiping off the savings of a lifetime.
He had to undergo regular dialysis sessions to keep in good health as doctors recommended an arteriovenous fistula surgery (where a passageway is made between an artery and a vein).
“It was just an unfortunate situation for me. I had no option but to seek help from people as the medical bills were too much,” said an ailing Jawaid. The situation took a turn for the worse when his son lost his job and the bills started mounting. Regular visits to the hospital, unpaid rent and utility bills and credit card charges took their toll on the Pakistani family as they sought help from humanitarian organisations.
“Some of our relatives and friends helped us initially but they couldn’t always pay for our hospital bills. We never expected to reach such a dire situation,” said Jawaid.
Doctors recommended the AV fistula surgery when the family was looking for ways to keep the dialysis going. The limited help from friends was not enough to meet the costs of the surgery.
Khaleej Times reported the family’s plight earlier this month and its readers quickly pledged support and raised funds directly for the medical expenses. The money helped Jawaid undergo a successful AV fistula surgery at the Emirates International Hospital in Sharjah.
Fauzia Adeel Butt, one of our readers who helped in the fund-raising said: “I read the story in Khaleej Times and came to know about the family and its needs. I strongly felt it was our duty to help the family, even if we didn’t know them personally.”
Humayun from Dubai shared similar sentiments. “We got a lot of our friends to help raise money and all of us are glad he could undergo a surgery on time,” he said.
Jawaid had no words to express his gratitude for Khaleej Times and KT readers as he was brought out of the operation theatre on Thursday.
The big smile on his face made up for the words, as his family huddled around his bed, looking up to restart life, a life filled with hope and expectations.
“I would like to thank the people who helped us with their contributions. Without their support, it would not have been possible for me to have the surgery,” said a smiling Jawaid.