What this Pakistani couple had to say about India before leaving for Pakistan

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Saturday, July 22, 2017
what this pakistani couple had to say about india before leaving for pakistan
Kanwal and Anum Siddiq with their son Rohaan

Rohaan was a month old, when his father, Kanwal Siddiq, an engineer, noticed that there was something unusual about his son’s voice and breathing. He consulted a doctor, who put his finger in his mouth and assured that Rohaan was fine. 

A few days later, the family was watching television when Kanwal noticed that Rohaan was crying but he could not hear his cry. He was sure that this was not normal. He rushed him to a nearby hospital. An x-ray showed that the heart was little abnormal and doctors admitted Rohaan in the cardiac ward. The next day morning, doctors diagnosed that Rohaan had multiple holes in his heart and his pulmonary artery and aorta were switched--- aorta and pulmonary arteries were placed in each other’s position. As a result the body was not getting enough oxygenated blood. 

Rohaan needed immediate surgical intervention. When Kanwal was searching for possible treatment for his son, his elder brother told him about Dr Rajesh Sharma at Jaypee Hospital, Noida. “I researched a lot on Rohaan’s condition and consulted doctors across the world,” he says. “I knew my son was serious and I wanted to give the best possible treatment to him. America was another option but I was not sure if Rohaan could take the stress of such a long flight. So, I decided on India,” he says.

He discussed the case with doctors at the Indian hospital and applied for visa. But due to growing tension between the two nations, getting visa was tough. When nothing worked, Kanwal asked for India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s help on Twitter. “My friend suggested that I should tweet to Sushmaji. I didn’t have a twitter account. I spent almost 36 hours learning how to use Twitter-- and then tweeted. I used to send an email to Indian Embassy everyday for the progress on my visa application, but it did not help. After four days of my tweet, I got a call from the Embassy, they told me that my visa had been approved,” he says.

The couple came to India on June 12 and Rohaan underwent surgery two days later. In the five- hour surgery, doctors performed  an arterial switch with VSD closure method. The aorta and pulmonary arteries were removed from their place and were adjusted to their right place. “It was a rare and quite complicated case.  We are happy that we could treat Rohaan,” says Dr Rajesh Sharma, director, pediatric cardiac surgery at Jaypee Hospital, Noida. 

Kanwal and his wife Anum are happy  “Rohaan is fine. And India has been like home and hospital staff was like a family. I got a lot of love here and never felt that I was in a foreign country. I could not have asked for more,” says, Kanwal as he prepares to leave for Pakistan. 

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