“Two days after Farheen was admitted to the hospital due to her blood disease, I found out that my husband had died in a road accident. He had been missing for a few days, and we had spent all our time looking for him everywhere. Even as she was being admitted to the hospital, I kept trying to call him, but his phone was switched off. Soon we found out that someone had found his body. I was shattered. But more than myself, I worried about how I’m going to tell Farheen. Even in severe pain she used to say, “Don’t worry about me, please let’s find abbu." She's already fighting a severe disease, and now she has to deal with the loss of her father.” – Shaheen, 19-year-old Farheen’s mother.
Shaheen was desperately trying to look for her missing husband when she found out about Farheen’s illnessA few weeks before her father went missing, Farheen (19) started having white patches on her face. She often felt light headed and weak. On taking her to the doctor, they found that the probable cause of it could be Jaundice. For a week she was treated for it, however, Farheen’s condition only got worse. Her blood count was decreasing.
“During that time, I was so busy frantically looking for my husband, that Farheen also didn’t tell me about how unwell she was feeling. She’s studying in her second year of college, and she had even stopped going because of her weakness. However, when I saw that she was getting paler by the day, I knew it was something serious."
Farheen has aplastic anaemia, a condition in which the body stops producing enough new blood cells. She has been undergoing blood transfusions every week for six months now, but they’re not enough. Farheen needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. Fortunately her younger brother Afroz is a suitable match, but her family is penniless.
Their happy days seem like a distant memory nowEven before her diagnosis, Farheen was a quiet girl, but she was happy. She loves going to college and often dreamed of a future where she would have a stable job. She and her five siblings are extremely close, and she considered her father her strongest support. Now, there’s only silence when their family is together. Shaheen often thinks about the good days, but it all seems like a distant memory now.
“Farheen and her father would spend hours talking to each other about books. He was her strength, in fact, all of ours. We could count on him for anything. He saved money only for our children’s future. But now, we’ve lost everything.”