It was a pleasant Saturday morning and seventeen-year-old Saim was preparing for a football match at his school in Karachi. Little did he know his life was about to change forever.
In the middle of the training, he was struck by severe, throbbing pain in his back. Unable to comprehend what was happening to him, he collapsed on the field and was sent home right away. Saim’s father examined his back hoping the pain is only a result of his physical activity. To his horror, he felt a lump on Saim’s back and immediately rushed him to the hospital. Belonging to a lower-middle-class family, Saim’s father collected whatever money has had saved for Saim’s tuition fees and took his for some tests. Finally, Siam received a diagnosis, and one that changed his life forever. He had Bone Cancer.
Saim’s family began to scramble for his treatment. But the response they received from doctors was very disheartening. “They told us the chances of survival are negligible for my son. And their hefty fees meant I couldn’t afford treatment even if we wanted to take our chances.” The family was devastated and desperate. Here was their only son, so young and full of potential and they were on the edge of losing him.
Finally, Allah (SWT) listened to their prayers and they found out about Indus Hospital & Health Network’s free of charge cancer treatment. Despite the fact that Indus Hospital only provides cancer treatment for children up to 14 years of age, they admitted him right away after examining the urgency of his condition.
It was lonely being the only person his age in the whole ward, so Saim would spend his time looking at other patients’ stories on his phone. “I would scroll through Indus’s website. Watch videos of cancer survivors. It gave me hope in the darkest time of my life. When I had long chemotherapy sessions, I remember I felt utterly hopeless. But Nafisa and Hadia Baji (counselors at Indus) would always be there for me.”
After a year of treatment Saim was declared cancer free. He is now studying Pre-Engineering and hopes to take his parents for Hajj one day. He and his family are grateful to Indus Hospital for providing free cancer treatment to him.