Nazia Tariq Ahmed- a single parent – had taken her 15-year-old daughter, Saba, who is suffering from Wilson’s Disease, to India for the sake of treatment. The mother and daughter had reportedly arrived with a mere 80,000 rupees. Wilson’s disease or hepatolenticular degeneration is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder in which copper accumulates in tissues; this manifests as neurological or psychiatric symptoms and liver disease.
However, the citizens of Mumbai in a rare gesture of hospitality stepped forward to help the teen after a leading Indian paper published a report in its Sunday edition.
Mumbai populace while donating for the Pakistani teen helped raise Indian Rs 450,000, with the help of which Nazia can continue the treatment of her daughter at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital. At the current exchange rate, this is over Rs 700,000.
“Soon after the article was published, total strangers approached the hospital with donations,” said Dr Abbha Nagral, Liver Specialist and Senior Gastroenterologist treating Saba. “We managed to raise over Rs 4,50,000 enabling us to sustain the expense of Saba’s treatment.”
The doctor added that the teen’s response to the medication is positive.
“For the first time in 40 days, we took Saba to Dargah Haji Ali on a wheelchair this Friday. Though she has frequent ups and downs, yet there is an overall improvement her health,” said Nazia, her mother – a single parent since her husband remarried and abandoned her and their three children. “However, she still has a long way to go and will require medication throughout her life.”
The doctors in Karachi had misdiagnosed her daughter’s condition and even resorted to improper medication.
Nazia said that the donors in Mumbai were angels who extended their support in their hour of need.
“Saba was in complete distress when we arrived here, but she is a happier person now, despite being bedridden,” said Nazia Tariq. “She was quite happy while seeking blessings at Dargah Haji Ali.”
Shabia Walia – a social worker from Bluebells Community – tells that actress Juhi Chawla donated Rs 25,000.
Another donor named Kersi Dubash was the first among the first to donate Indian Rs 160,000 to the hospital for Saba’s treatment.
“I have a textile business in Pakistan and visit the country often,” he said. “I am just returning the love and affection that I receive there.” Mr Dubash is the owner of Nazakat Collections and has been regularly holding exhibitions of saaris in Pakistan for the past many years.