Till about two years ago, Asra Shaikh (17 years) was a regular student of class 12th at AMC Urdu School, Aurangabad. Bright in studies and ever-cheerful, she had a promising life ahead of her.
Then misfortune struck.
Asra got diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver at age 15 due to Auto-Immune Hepatitis, two years ago. Thus started a long and arduous journey to health. An unending line-up of tests, doctor’s appointments, missed classes, pre-transplant screenings, lab report collections, donor matching and a long wait in hospital corridors.
There is no clear cause of Asra’s disease that can target anyone, but most particularly it afflicts young females. Asra has received medical therapy but progressively her condition has worsened in spite of medical management and she now requires an urgent liver transplant.
Besides other complications relating to poor digestion, she has developed severe ascites (fluid retention in her belly) and finds it difficult to walk. Her family, although of extremely limited means is very supportive and is doing everything possible to ensure continued treatment for her. They have spent approximately Rs 6 lakhs on various hospitalisations and continue to spend Rs 25,000 per month on her medical management. Her father, the sole bread winner of the family, Zaheeruddin Shaikh is a welder, who supports a family of five children.
Asra’s mother Amina Shaikh has come forward as a ‘live donor’ to give a portion of her liver to Asra. Amina has completed her donor evaluation and is found to be medically fit.
The Local Authorization Committee at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central has also approved the transplant during a meeting convened on 11, April, 2017.
A timely transplant can save the life of this 17 year old. At present, the only road block for her transplant is the steep cost of the surgery. The family has exhausted all their resources on her previous treatment.
Anyone wishing to come forward to support this young girl in her endeavour for a successful liver transplant and a long healthy life thereafter, can contact her surgeon Dr Anurag Shrimal or Wockhardt Hospital directly (+91-7095961122, firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com).
Asked what she wishes for, for her daughter at this crisis point of life, Amina’s eyes well with tears, as she says, “I pray for her long life.”
As a person, who has gone through a successful liver transplant, I know what the family must be going through at this moment. I was fortunate. I had the means to afford my treatment. But what if I hadn’t? Would I not have deserved a second shot at life?
Anyone reading this, who has the will and the desire to help Asra, can answer her call for appeal, and thank God, ‘It’s not me.’
Because who knows, tomorrow it can be actually be you in Asra’s place.