RDS_190616 Kidney transplant-1560679032393
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  • Indian national Sucharita and Pakistani national Rizwan form a friendship 
  • Rizwan's wife needs a kidney transplant back home
  • Sucharita appeals to extend help to the security guard

Dubai: Intially Pakistani national Mohammad Rizwan knew her as a boss. Working as a security guard in the company that Sucharita Basu, an Indian national, was a manager, the two eventually struck up a friendship built on shared cultures despite being from across borders.

As they got talking, 41-year-old Basu asked 33-year-old Rizwan to refer to her as his elder sister or “didi” in Hindi.

Now, after nine years of sharing joys and sorrows, Basu is trying her best to get all the help Rizwan needs as his ailing wife requires a kidney transplant back home, in Pakistan.

At a difficult time in his life, Rizwan had found a much-needed sister. The Dubai resident is the sole earner of his family.

He is responsible for his paralysed father, four sisters and two brothers who depend entirely on his Dh1,500 income.

Rizwan has been living in the UAE alone for over 10 years and his worry for his ill wife, Neelam has been eating at him.

Right when Neelam and Rizwan got married, Neelam’s health started deteriorating. The 29-year-old faced severe symptoms of diabetes and fluctuating blood pressure, and the couple have not been able to have children because of her condition.

“Early on in the marriage, Neelam miscarried due to being severely diabetic,” Rizwan told Gulf News.

However, things took a turn for the worse after Neelam started facing symptoms of kidney failure and doctors soon confirmed the couple’s fears – she needed a kidney transplant.

“She was quite ill and we went to doctors in Islamabad and Lahore all the way from Kashmir because the facilities are not up to par in our region. The doctors there told her that both of her kidneys are failing,” said Rizwan.

The doctors there told her [Neelam] that both of her kidneys are failing.

- Mohammad Rizwan

The two belong to a village in Pakistan administered Kashmir and have to travel 7 to 8 hours each time they want to visit medical facilities in Punjab.

Deteriorating health

Currently, Neelam has to have a few sessions of dialysis every week in order for her to survive.

Having minimal income and nowhere to live in Punjab, the constant travelling has taken a toll on Rizwan’s pocket and Neelam’s health.

“Recently she had four dialysis in 36 hours and it’s sucking the life out of her. It is not a permanent solution. She desperately needs a kidney transplant but we cannot afford it,” said Rizwan.

Each time Neelam gets dialysis, she is admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).

For the transplant, hospitals in Pakistan have given Rizwan a rough estimate of needing Rs16,00,000 (approximately Dh 37,588) along with other medical expenses and fees to find a donor that the struggling security guard cannot afford to pay.

“I cannot bear to watch my young wife die. I need to do something but I feel helpless at this point,” said Rizwan.

However, the Dubai resident has remained hopeful. “I can just pray to God and hope that some miracle happens,” Rizwan said.

Another issue the couple faces is the lack of time that they have. Government hospitals in Pakistan are few in number and cater to thousands of patients; hence the waiting lists for operations are quite long.

“Doctors in government hospitals will give me a date much later in the future. We do not have that kind of time, and I am afraid for her life. At a private hospital, she can be treated much sooner, however, the cost would be higher too,” said Rizwan.

Friends stick together

At the moment, Rizwan’s only hope is Basu finding help for the couple.

She approached Gulf News with Rizwan’s issue and said: “Rizwan and I have kept in contact even after we no longer work together. He has never asked for any kind of help in these nine years until now.”

Rizwan and I have kept in contact even after we no longer work together. He has never asked for any kind of help in these nine years until now.

- Sucharita Basu

Having no family in the UAE, Rizwan turns to Sucharita for moral support. “It was a regular phone call when he opened up to me about getting the news about his wife and he was extremely upset,” said Basu.

“I have no capacity to give such an amount. All I can do is ask others for help,” she added.

Basu said that her efforts have not gotten much response.

“I have asked all my friends, family and colleagues to help but I haven’t gotten much of a response. Talking to Gulf News is my only option now,” she added.