May 4, 2009

A United Pakistan Saves An Innocent Life

PESHAWAR: Thanks to the generosity of kind-hearted Pakistanis, five-year-old Hamza has been brought back to health and is now convalescing at home after receiving quality medical treatment.

He was injured while going to a shop on the Ring Road here on February 5. It so happened that a lawyer was attacked by his rivals and little Hamza happened to be there. He suffered multiple bullet injuries and doctors at the Lady Reading Hospital twice operated upon him.

However, Hamza couldn’t recover fully. Doctors recommended that he should be shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad for specialised treatment.

Hamza’s father, Ahmadzada, had by then exhausted all means. The 28-year-old rickshaw driver had shifted to the city from his native Tangi area in Charsadda district two months ago and had no money to treat his only son.

Talking to The News, he said he had rented a one-room house for Rs 1,500 per month on the Ring Road for his family that included his wife, two-year-old daughter Ayesha and Hamza.

On the fateful day when his son was injured, he was out for work and a kind elder named Haji Shaukat shifted his wounded son to hospital.

Someone suggested to him that he should make an appeal through a newspaper to seek financial help for Hamza’s treatment. The appeal was published in The News, Islamabad, and soon he was receiving phone calls from all over Pakistan. “I got about 100 phone calls. All of them wanted to help me pay for Hamza’s treatment,” he recalled.

A military officer based in Kamra helped Hamza to get admitted to the PIMS. Every arrangement for transporting him and his father to Islamabad had been made and a philanthropist, who didn’t want to publicise his name and deed, paid all medical bills.

Subsequently, donations poured in from many known and unknown people. They included the staff at the Army Para Training School in Peshawar, a Pakistani family living in the US, a woman journalist from Islamabad and a number of young students. Some brought toys for Hamza, others left cash at his bedside.

The staff at the Governor House, Peshawar, the office of the Advocate General, NWFP, and the Pakistan Baitul Mal, Islamabad, also got in touch with Ahmadzada and offered help. It was heart-warming to hear Ahmadzada telling the lady who called from the Pakistan Baitul Mal that he had received enough financial support and didn’t need more. He advised her to provide support to other deserving patients.

Despite being poor, Ahmadzada showed the way to others. “All I can do is to pray all my life for those who helped me in this hour of need. I had no means to get Hamza treated,” he remarked.

Ahmadzada was full of praise for the doctors who helped in the treatment of his son at the PIMS. In particular, he named Dr Zaheer Abbasi and Dr Sibghatullah Afridi.

When contacted, Dr Zaheer Abbasi said Hamza was brought to the PIMS in a precarious condition, as his stomach, liver and intestines were damaged due to bullet injuries. “Now he is in a stable condition and has been sent home.”


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