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March 21 2020

44th millionth patient - Qamar Jehan

44th millionth patient - Qamar Jehan

Qamar’s job as a health worker involves going door to door in slums to convince residents to opt for the ongoing vaccination drive. Her husband, a rickshaw driver, was a family man and supported Qamar in pursuing a career. Unfortunately, three out of her eight children suffer from intense muscle weakness and are handicapped. Qamar left no stone unturned in trying to find a cure for the ailment, but to no avail.

Her job is not easy, walking long distances, endlessly waiting for people to open the door and begging them consider the importance of vaccinating their children. In a society like Pakistan where lack of education can leave people suspicious of medication, Qamar had her work cut out for her. She is usually left drained and has to look after her three handicapped sons when she arrives home, whose disease means they are unable to even feed themselves.

Sadly, true tragedy struck when her youngest son passed away three years ago from this disease. Qamar and her husband were inconsolable. She had no choice but to bounce back, but it was her husband who was so grief stricken that he gave up on life altogether and passed away within a month of his son’s death.

Life just keeps on throwing curveballs for some people and Qamar’s next one came when she started to have issues with her vision. Now that she was on her own, she knew that losing her job was not an option. She discussed her problem with her fellow health workers who told her to visit LRBT Korangi. It was during this time that Qamar’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer and she found it difficult to take out time to visit LRBT.

Finally, at LRBT Korangi Hospital, Qamar underwent a thorough examination and was diagnosed with retinal detachment due to diabetes. She was given a date for surgery and assured that her treatment would be free – something Qamar couldn’t quite believe. Luckily, she was in capable hands receiving micro incision vitrectomy surgery (MIVS) to reattach the retina. The surgery was successful and, on her follow-up visit, Qamar expressed her heartfelt thanks and told us her story.

   

We wish Qamar and her family all the best and thank you for continuing to support GLT, so we can continue funding our important work in partnership with LRBT.