“God and the medical staff of the AKU have granted me a second chance at life,” says Shaukat Qasim Agaria.
Shaukat Qasim Agaria was a salesman in a shop in the Lighthouse area. On his meagre salary, he supported his wife and three children. Although it was a financial struggle, he educated his children in order to provide them with a better future. He and his family were managing to cope, until 2011, when tragedy struck. Shaukat felt a growth in his mouth. A biopsy indicated that the growth was cancerous. Consultants at AKU advised him to undergo surgery within two weeks, or it would be too late, as the cancer was spreading rapidly. The cost of the surgery was prohibitive for him and his family, so they applied for financial assistance from AKU. Out of the total cost of approximately Rs 250,000, Shaukat paid only Rs 60,000 for the surgery. The rest was paid for by AKU and the Patient’s Behbud Society.
Despite this reprieve, Shaukat’s family struggled to make ends meet while Shaukat was undergoing treatment, as their sole breadwinner was unable to work. There were days whSen his wife found it difficult to put food on the table at home. In view of their straitened circumstances, the AKU waived a large part of the cost of the follow-up treatment and visits over the three years following the surgery, thus minimizing Shaukat’s medical expenses. Shaukat’s doctor has declared that he is now free of cancer. He is allowed to eat regular food, and he has regained a large part of the weight that he lost during his illness.
Shaukat and his family are relieved that their ordeal is behind them. However, they can never forget the care and support provided to them by the medical staff of the AKU.
“They [the doctors and medical staff] looked after us as though we were their parents. We can never forget what they did for us. Whenever we pray, we first pray for the health and wellbeing of our care givers at AKU”.