Lung transplant hope for Bahraini child
Manama, August 13, 2014
A Bahraini child suffering from a chronic illness will be flown to India next week to undergo a lung transplant.
Nine-year-old Karrar Yaseen Alsari has been suffering from lung cirrhosis since he was two, but his parents have been unable to send him abroad for the life-changing operation because of financial difficulties, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication,
However, a social media campaign, called #SaveKarrar, was launched last week by Bahraini blogger Ammar Al Mukhtar to raise funds for the boy's surgery, which has been supported by local artists, activists and community leaders.
It gained so much momentum that the Health Ministry stepped in and made arrangements to send Karrar to Global Health City in Chennai, India, next Monday at the government's expense.
The boy's mother Rabab Hassan told the GDN they had been planning to send Karrar abroad for treatment for years, but could never afford it because they survived on her husband Yaseen Alsari's job as a safety officer for a private company.
"I was shocked after discovering my only son's illness, although I didn't know the nature of this disease, but prayed for his good health," said the housewife.
"I spoke to the ministry and requested them to send him abroad, but it took them a long time to decide.
"After the news appeared on social media the ministry showed sympathy and promised to send Karrar to India for transplant at the government's expense.
"I wish to see my son live a normal life, go to school and complete his education, play with his friends in school and neighbourhood.
"He is not going to school at the moment, but he is an intelligent boy."
Hassan said her son took at least 15 pills a day and has monthly check-ups, and according to doctors treating him he could be on medication his entire life.
"Karrar has been ill since he was two years old and we have been taking him to Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) since," she explained.
"He is always coughing and has continuous pain in his abdomen.
"He is weak, has chest discomfort, loses weight rapidly and is under regular treatment at the hospital.'"
Hassan, who lives with her husband and child in a rented flat in Barbar, said she felt eternally grateful to people who supported the campaign and authorities for stepping in to help them.
"I would like to thank the ministry for taking the decision to send Karrar abroad for treatment and all those who supported us," she said.
"I think he would have to stay home for six to 12 months following the surgery.
"I am hoping and praying for his quick recovery after the transplant."
A Health Ministry spokesman told the GDN that Karrar's parents will accompany him on the trip.
"We are sending the boy to India for the transplant and paying all the expenses for the treatment," he said yesterday.
"The boy is too small to go on his own, so we are also sending his parents with him.
"This is one of the best hospitals in India and the decision was taken after several meetings among the management and the boy's parents.
"The surgery takes four to 12 hours and another three to four weeks rest after that."
Transplantation surgery generally takes four to 12 hours to perform, and patients have to remain admitted for up to three weeks following the operation.
Most patients return to normal or near-normal activities six to 12 months following the transplant, but have to take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent any organ rejection. - TradeArabia News Service