Letter to India from Mr. Adnan Memon from Karachi Pakistan, whose 2 year old deaf – mute daughter is able to hear and talk now, thanks to a cochlear transplant surgery facilitated in India by two Indian organisations!
On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 10:34 PM, adnan memon <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
These days there are no measures to my happiness and excitements caused by the daily progress of my beloved deaf born 2 year old daughter “Khadija”! She has started calling some names and saying some words. Though these are still a little broken, but at least she has started to talk, which would not have been possible without the cochlear implant surgery.
This happiness me and my family are experiencing is just because of a generous ear gift through Cochlear Implant by SAHI (Society to Aid Hearing Impaired) from across the border! Yes from the Indian city of Hyderabad Deccan, from where neither me nor my friends or any of my fellow countrymen would expect any help, not even in dreams. Yes, a country with which we have always remained in a state of mistrust since the day of our independence.
In February-2012, while knowing that Khadija is not able to hear due to congenital deafness which would cause inherently additional disability of dumbness, all of us became stunned and our lives were shattered. Everybody was searching for a separate corner of our house to cry so as to hide our tears from others and not discourage them from dealing with the situation but unfortunately our small apartment did not offer this ease.
Every time I looked at Khadija I could not control my emotions and tears and immediately started begging to Almighty ALLAH to show me a way out.
Everybody was praying to get rid of this situation through any miracle by Almighty ALLAH but had no idea about what can be done, because none of my family and friends circle had any clue that profound deafness can be cured.
I prayed Almighty ALLAH that, “YOU have gifted me this little angle, YOU have made her deaf and now it is again only YOU to get back her ears, I have no sources but YOU and I would not ask others except YOU as it is YOUR promise to provide if begged with complete faith in YOU and I have complete faith in YOU”.
Upon visiting the audiologist he advised me to use hearing aids for her but to expect very little improvement. Knowing the huge cost of cochlear implant and judging my financial position, he just mentioned about the cochlear implant but did not tell any details. While leaving his clinic I got a sudden idea, went back and asked details of cochlear implant. He explained and suggested to get more information on the web. This was the first fortunate moment that contributed in what today Khadija is!
For the first time I realized that something still is possible to make Khadija hear! But all that I had was a just USD 3,000/- my saving from 8 years of professional life and the cost of cochlear implant was estimated to be USD 25,000/-. Too far away to turn the dream true and all that remained was to pray for a miracle.
I started borrowing from family and friends and managed to collect a total of USD 12,000/- but still this was less than half of the required amount and time was running out as the ideal time to get an implant is within 18 months of age and Khadija had already entered 18th month. I had no freedom to sale my car to have another USD 3,000/- because my job necessitated a car as per job contract.
Somebody suggested me to use web for fund collection and ask for either charity or loans. I sent emails to more than 300 individuals, groups and organizations of good repute including ICRC, Lions Club int’l & others to support the cause but none of them replied except SAHI an Indian NGO that alone came forward!
But the way and the speed with which SAHI progressed in increasing the extent of their funding from initially offering USD 4,000/- to finally cover the complete cost of implant device amounting to about USD 18,000 (and I just needed to bear traveling, hospitalization and accommodation expenses amounting to about USD 7,000/-,) made my friends, and to some extent myself, apprehensive that this might be a trap by some fraudulent persons to take away the money with me when I reach India and asked myself why an NGO of a country with relatively more poverty help a child of a rival country?
However, while talking to Mr. P Krishanamurthy Rao of SAHI on phone I was impressed by his soft spoken and truthful guidance and I started developing confidence in SAHI as an honest organization. For a while I thought when Almighty ALLAH is arranging all these things for me, why should I be subjected to doubts? There was a war inside me between faith and doubts and finally faith won the battle and I decided to proceed even with a small risk/fear of losing everything I saved but with the hope and search of more than everything i-e. “The hearing of Khadija”!
Soon I realized that those who came forward were those from whom I was not expecting anything and certainly this was the miracle of Almighty ALLAH for which we were praying!
In December 2005 while visiting the Wahga Border I had prayed “may Almighty ALLAH bless me to visit Indian soil at least once” and my wish was fulfilled but in a different way on 6th August 2012 at Mumbai Airport. The 42 days we spent in Hyderabad A.P. are amongst the unforgettable times of our life where we arrived with a family of 3 members but departed with adding countless.
Upon arrival at Hyderabad, initially we faced many hardships as it was the Holy month of Ramadan and we (me and my wife Shehrbano) spent 7 days without fasting. Added to that Khadija got infected from pneumonia and surgery was postponed twice which added to the uncertainty as to whether we would be able to leave India with the cochlear implanted? But the love, care and guidance we received from SAHI team in general and from Dr. E.C. Vinay Kumar, Dr. Mrs. Sunita Reddy, Mr. P Krishanamurthy Rao and Mr. Mazher Hussain of COVA in particular played vital role in encouraging us to face the situation.
There was another honor for us, besides being 1st Pakistani patient to get free implant, to be part of Joint Independence Celebration of India and Pakistan on 14th and 15 August hosted by COVA and to address the people there to show my gratitude. It was a big surprise to as when we realized that our family was being honored as chief guests and we were the centre of attraction for all the participants. But unfortunately a mob of political extremists protesting the Joint Celebrations of Independence Days of India and Pakistan came and disturbed the meeting. I cannot forget those moments and the panic created in the innocent school kids who came there not for any political agenda but for the agenda of love and I feel myself responsible for that to some extent. My apologies may please be conveyed to those kids, if possible.
Soon after this disturbance of the meeting I received Leave India Notice from the authorities for violating Visa norms caused by attending a meeting when I had come with a medical Visa- but off course I was not aware of such a law and all I wanted to and all I did at the meeting was to thank India and Indian people for opening the prospects of a new life for my darling beloved daughter.
I was asked to leave within three days, on 17 August, and we became depressed with the thought that we might not be able to achieve our primary goal of getting the cochlear implant for our daughter as I was required to leave by 20th August and the surgery was scheduled for 21st and Shehrbano, being house wife, was not confident to deal with a major surgery alone in a different country. We were totally dejected but thanks to Dr. Mrs. Sunita Reddy for encouraging me to be confident on the efforts being taken by Mr. Mazher Hussain and of course thanks to Mr. Mazher for his relentless efforts through which he ensured the withdrawal of the Notice and removal of all hurdles for the surgery.
20th August was Ramadan Eid and this Eid day was unique for us because even though we were far away from our home land, from rest of our family and sitting in a hospital but we are happy! Because Khadija is going to have a new life ‘A life full of sounds’ which she had never known before.
This Eid day was the first day since our arrival when we were relaxed, confident and having a nice lunch composed of tasty Biryani and Mirchi ka Saalan and Eid specific dish Sheer Khorma with the families of both the Dr. Vinay Kumar and Dr. Sunita Reddy at her residence. Earlier in the morning we were also presented with a large Tiffin of sweets and meals by Mr. Mazher Hussain and his family. Today we were feeling as part of their families and not alone like many patients and their parents in Apollo Hospital. Even on other days, we were not being dealt as the parents of a patient but as some special guests to whom everybody wanted to meet, to talk, to help and to do everything for us till his last limits and that was much beyond our expectations and unprecedented for my family. For a while I forgot that we were far away from our home land. We were receiving extra ordinary attention and reception, why? We do not know. Is this just because of good luck of Khadija? or because we came from cross the border? Or the people there were great hosts? I think all the answers are true.
So much love and care established our confidence and faith in all around us to the extent that when Khadija was brought into the Operation Theatre both me and my wife Shehrbano did not stand outside the Operation Theatre but went to the room, performed supplication (Namaz-e-Haajat) and slept (to prepare ourselves to handle post-surgery situation).
It was surprising for me when Dr. Sunita Reddy told that SAHI was searching for a case to fund from cross the border since last 4 years and in reply I said “Mam this implant was fixed for Khadija 4 years back when she was not even in the womb of her mother so how could you have found any other”. This incident strengthened my faith in Almighty ALLAH that first HE sends solutions and only after that we are subjected to the problems. I resolved that every time in future, when I will be subjected to any problem I must understand that the solution is already there but just to find it with completed faith in HIM.
Thanks to Dr. EC Vinay Kumar, Dr. Mrs. Sunita Reddy, Mr. and Mrs. S Divakar Reddy and all other SAHI Directors for establishing such a platform to make my beloved daughter and others like her hear. Dr. Mrs. Sunita Reddy for her great hospitality throughout the time that Khadija was hospitalized and after it too, Mr. Mazher Hussain for expediting our Visa proceedings, being with us at the time of surgery to make us feel like family members and honoring us at Joint Independence celebrations. Mr. P Krishanamurthy Rao for leading and guiding me from decision making for our arrival in India to departure back home, Mr. M Hatim for all that he did for us, Mr. Srikanth, Mr. Sri Nivas, Mr. Saicharan, Sister Nazneen, Mr. Naseer Siddiqui and everybody in Apollo, SAHI and COVA team who helped and guided us till the last day we were in India. Kindly, convey my greetings to Mr. Justice Siddiqui and Mrs. Rani of Sakshi who honored us with their meetings. Special thanks and our praise may please be conveyed to that anonymous donor, who agreed to pay for the cost of the implant.
May Almighty ALLAH bless you all and your generations may not see any disability or diseases in return of this noble and selfless job you all are doing. Aameen.
Kindly apologize me if I have forgotten to mention anybody here. Please pray for early rehabilitation of Khadija so that she becomes a useful member of society. Please also pray that I may become capable to support the cause of anti deafness in return for the precious ear gifted by SAHI to my daughter. Pray I am able to raise funds for a hearing impaired adult patient here in Karachi.
I should have written this letter long back. Sorry for this delay as I had no words to show my gratitude and it took me 4 months to write this letter because I am not a regular writer and I did not want to write a formal text.
Regards and very many thanks from
Engr. Adnan Adeel Memon