ABBOTABAD: Every night, before falling asleep, Imran Aziz has to go through every father’s nightmare – what he would do if he is unable to protect his child.
Aziz’s two-year-old son Uzair fell ill in November last year and was admitted to Ayub Medical Complex (AMC) where doctors stated the alveoli of his lungs had shrunk and his liver enlarged dangerously. On December 17, doctors discharged Uzair and asked Aziz to take his son to a hospital in Islamabad as AMC did not have the necessary facilities to treat him.
Himself a lung patient, Aziz told The Express Tribune that his son has been breathing from an oxygen tank, given to him by the AMC administration, for the past two months. Being unemployed, Aziz says he cannot even afford the taxi ride to Islamabad, let alone the hospital bills. He thanked the AMC doctors for providing him with an avenue to keep his son alive, saying, “Whenever the cylinder runs out of oxygen, I get it refilled from the hospital after borrowing money from friends and family to cover the transport cost.”
Aziz says he has been on the verge of eviction from his landlord for the past three months and now all his savings were being channeled to save his son’s life. “My wife and I tremble when we hear Uzair cough,” he said, adding he has no other choice but to ask “gentle-hearted” people to come to his aid. Aziz says he is not out to con people and will not accept cash-in-hand, rather, he just wants the treatment expenses covered by someone.
Aziz says the thought of losing his son keeps him awake every night. “What if one day I am unable to refill the cylinder?” he asks, without wanting to think of the answer.
Imran Aziz can be contacted at 0341-4323075.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2014.