If you knew Akbar Ali, you would agree that he is a kind, friendly and decent boy, who lives up to his name (Akbar means ‘great’). And that he loves animals, especially cats. But what you would find striking about him would be his commitment to his family. He is a responsible son and a very loving brother. My name is Arjuman, and as his sister, I can see the affection in his eyes even now – when he is battling for his life in the ICU and cannot speak a word.
The day our lives took a turn for the worst
I remember the night very clearly. I had just uploaded his profile on Shaadi.com to look for potential matches. Akbar Ali was very happy. Mamma, Pappa, I - we were all very happy. Right after dinner, Akbar Ali said he had to go out to get his bike checked. We thought nothing of it – he would always return home early, no matter what. But only that day he didn’t.
Minutes later, we got a phone call informing us that he had been in an accident and that things looked bad. His bike had crashed on the metal barricades and he had gone sliding across the footpath, grievously injuring himself. I remember a mixed feeling of chaos and grief taking over me when I learnt what happened to him. Mamma and Pappa were too shocked to say anything. But it was just the beginning.
When we saw him, he was bleeding from everywhere. At that point, we were not sure if he would survive. We took him from hospital to hospital, trying to get him admitted. We were refused admission in many hospitals because they thought it was too serious a case for them to take up. Finally, he was admitted at Apollo Hospital, Bangalore, where he has been for the last 52 days.
"Akbar Ali needs constant supervision and critical care round the clock, or he will not survive" - Dr. Arun Naik, Chief Neurosurgeon at Apollo Hospitals
Akbar Ali has been operated on for four times already. There was a swelling in his brain and they had to remove a part of his skull to lessen the pressure. He even survived a major brain stroke. I have seen him evolve from a near-vegetative state (when he was in a coma for the first two weeks) to a point where he can understand what we are telling him. But his problems have not gone away yet – he is not fully conscious. He cannot swallow food on his own, and the risk of blood clots forming in his windpipe can potentially choke him. As much as it pains me, he needs constant professional care that I cannot afford anymore.
He is helpless and so am I...
The doctors have instructed us to keep talking to him; they say that will bring him back to life. So that’s what we do now – pretend to be happy- so that our Akbar Ali comes back to us.
I bring my 2 year-old son to the hospital every day because my brother really loves him. But my son gets scared when he sees his beloved uncle covered in tubes and bandages. And I can sense that Akbar Ali feels so hurt when his nephew backs away from him. My parents are devastated and completely broken from the inside, but we manage to keep a smiling façade on. For our Akbar Ali, for him to be all right.
How you can help?Akbar Ali needs to be in the hospital for one more month and needs two more major surgeries. After that, he needs medical care at home for over a year, which includes setting up an ICU at home and hiring private nurses for him. We have spent more than Rs 14 lakh on his medical expenses alone for the first 2 weeks. That's the money we had saved for his wedding this year.
My dad has been arranging more money which got stolen last night. The thief has been caught on CCTV and is seen running taking the bag which was on the bike seat while my dad was wearing his helmet. We have registered this complaint at Halasuru Gate Police Station.
We want to save Akbar Ali at any cost. He is the light of our lives, even in this darkness. Please help me save him.
I am reachable on whatsapp at 91-8050805060 or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.