Mobeen Ahmad lives in Lahore and is in on his first visit to Delhi. He loved the Red Fort, almost as much as cricket, which he is happy he can continue playing.
The 14-year-old nearly died of cirrhosis of the liver last month. A liver transplant was his only hope, and a transplant in Delhi’s Apollo Hospital helped him live.
After doctors in Pakistan had given up all hopes of his survival, his father Iftikar Ahmad approached Indian Congress President Sonia Gandhi for help.
“For a cook with a meagre income and 10 mouths to feed, raising 15 lakhs for surgery was impossible. Through a newspaper advertisement, the grievance cell raised money for the boys’ treatment,” said Archana Dalmia, head of Sonia Gandhi grievance cell.
Doctors at Apollo Hospital helped by waiving their fee, bringing down the treatment cost.
“When we first saw the boy, he had a bloated belly, yellow eyes, stunted growth and swollen nails. His liver was completely damaged and he had severe malnourishment. Before operating on him, it was imperative to restore his energy levels,” said Anupam Sibal, paediatric gastroentologist at Apollo.
A team led by liver transplant surgeon Dr Subhash Gupta did the surgery on October 21. His elder brother Bismil, 20, donated 40 per cent of his liver for the transplant. “Both the boys have recovered well and are ready to travel,” said Sibal.
Iftikar cannot contain his joy. “I have seen my boy sick since birth. Thanks to Srimati Gandhi who paid for the surgery and our travel costs, my son can realize his dreams of becoming a cricketer,” he said.