After being turned down by several hospitals, Aisha and her parents arrived at the Indus Hospital, Karachi after their daughter was diagnosed with blood cancer.
Aisha’s story is unique. When she was diagnosed with the disease, she was 17 years old — making her ineligible for treatment at a private cancer hospital in Lahore — while at the Indus Hospital she was overage.
“We are from Multan, but moved to Saudi Arabia, where I drove a taxi. Aisha was born there,” says Aisha’s father. “At 17, when she had just given an exam for the ninth grade, Aisha said she wanted to come back to Pakistan to study.”
“Six months later she complained of pain in her bones and we took her to Nishtar Hospital, Multan. The doctors performed an X-ray and prescribed some medicine. We then took her to a few more hospitals and then one of the hospitals told us about the seriousness and asked us to take her to a private hospital in Karachi,” he added.
He continued, “We took an emergency flight to Karachi. The hospital conducted some tests and she was diagnosed with blood cancer.”
“They told us the cost could climb up to Rs.10 million or even more,” adds her mother. “Her condition was very serious and we could not afford the treatment.”
When it was happening, we could not think straight, Aisha’s father added. “Then someone we knew told us about the Indus Hospital and we came here immediately. But then we faced another hurdle, Aisha was 17 and the Indus Hospital only treats children till the age of 16.
We were depressed to hear the news and lost all hope to see our daughter alive, but then a miracle happened and the consulting physician said that she will discuss the case further.
“After a few minutes, she returned and told us that they would take her in for treatment,” Aisha’s mother said. “The treatment was a year-long process and Aisha was admitted.”
She added, “Because of the frequency of the treatment we shifted to Karachi for the duration.”
Aisha’s treatment lasted from November 2018 to October 2019 before the doctors took her off chemotherapy and moved her to the maintenance stage and returned home.
Now 19, Aisha has resumed her studies after a break of two years and wants to become a software engineer.
Aisha’s parents are thankful to the Indus Hospital and the staff who helped them in the difficult time. “The doctors were very cooperative and we recommend this place to whoever we can. We are very satisfied with the service that was provided here,” says her father.
“We did not spend any money on treatment,” says her mother.
“If we can ever donate, we would. The way this place helped us, we would like to donate so that it can save someone else’s life as well.”