Saturday, August 7, 2010
My 5-month-old cousin's crawling between life, death and life.
His mother left him alone in the room and went upstairs to attend a telephone call. One call ended and another came. When she came back in Faizan’s room, she found him head down. Thinking that he might have slept, she lifted him in her arms to put him in the cart. She was shocked to see that the 5-month-old boy’s whole body had turned blue and he had lost his consciousness.
She was alone in her house. She ran in the street and started banging the doors of neighbours. A midwife living in the nerighbourhood responded to her cries for help. The midwife tried to resuscitate the boy. The boy remained in the same condition. Finally, the ambulance was called and Faizan was shifted to the hospital’s intensive care system.
Faizan changed side on the bed and was choked over the pillow under his own body weight.
It had taken the family 40 minutes to shift the baby in the hospital. It was too late for his survival. He was put on artificial life support system. My mamu is an officer in the Pakistan Navy currently serving in Islamabad. The family in UK had told us that Faizan condition was very critical and that Commander Tayyab should visit the UK as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, news from the UK was worsening. Faizan heart beating became irregular. He was unable to breathe. He had lost his vision.
All of us knew that he was going to lose us. I had to drop Faizan’s dad at the Lahore airport. I woke up early on August 5 (Thursday) and went to Lahore. Near Gujranwala, Faizan’s mother telephoned. She sounded very sad and depressed. Mamu was driving the car so he gave me the telephone and told me to tell her about his travel plan.
When I asked her about Faizan’s health, she replied,” He is on his last.” It was hard to control the tears. I gave the telephone to my cousin Furqan, saying in a little loud voice that there was distortion in the call. Furqan also asked similar question and got similar reply. He told aunty that he was unable to comprehend what she had just said. To that, aunty replied that it was good that he didn’t understand anything.
Now I had two tasks: control my tears and hide the cracking voice. I kept talking about various stuff with mamu just to distract him.
Meanwhile, I discreetly texted aunty, “I don’t want to hear truth at this moment. How is Faizan now.”
She replied, “ Thy r waitng 4 ur mamu to tk da tube out. my faizan is leaving me, but don’t tell mamu as he is travelling alone. I am sorry.”
Having read this, I badly wanted to cry. Few days ago to this sad episode, we had received Faizan’s pictures on email. He looked very healthy and cheerfull. The nature had started plotting against us.
Time stopped after reading that text. I was relieved to have dropped mamu at the airport. I had to break that news to someone. Letting go my tears, I told Furqan that Faizan is no more with us. Doctors are awaiting Mamu to take the tube out before saying the last good bye to his son. Mamu was in Pakistan when Faizan was born in the UK. He was to see his son for the first time.
The flight Pakistan-UK flight takes 8 hours. That 8 hours were really hard for the family. All the relatives have literraly started coming to offer their condolences.
In the UK, mamu was taken straight to the hospital where doctors briefed him that there were no chances of his son’s survival and that he should allow them to take the tube out.
My two aunts, from Norway and France, had also arrived in Birmingham. They were all in favour of removing the life support system. Mamu was relectant. He wanted to wait for some miracle. Meanwhile, doctors kept telling him that there were no chances of boy’s survival. Finally Mamu accepted the fate.
The whole family visited the hospital to say good bye to the little angel. All the people were photographed with the boy. The hospital staff smeared some paint on Faizan’s hand and obtained his hand prints on papers. They also put some paint on his head and got hair impression on the paper. The photo-albums and finger prints were given to mamu and mamani.
Doctors waited for mamu to nod. Mamu nodded and a doctor removed the tube from Faizan’s lungs. People in the room broke in tears.
It was too hard for any of us to call in the UK and enquire about Faizan’s health. All the family members were evading attending telephone call, fearing that they migtht have to hear the inevitable.
Back in England, when the tube was removed from his lungs. A miracle happened. The boy started to breathe on his own. He was alive. Faizan was breathing on his own.
He was shifted to another room and doctors started monitoring his condition. Almost 36 hours have passed when the artificial life support system was removed. Faizan is recovering. He has lost his vision. According to doctors, the child’s brain is not controlling many of bodily functions – vision is one of them.
The only thing that can bring our little angel back to life is one sneeze. If he sneezes or coughs, his nervous system will become normal.
My family died and lived with seconds during the last few days. We requested everyone to pray and the prayers saved Faizan from the clutches of death. I thank all those who vigiled and prayed with us.
PS: Faizan is doing well now. Doctors say that he will be dependent on his parents for his whole life. He will be unable to interact with the people.