“God and the healthcare staff at AKUH have granted me a second chance at life,” said a thriving Shaukat Qasim Agaria 11 years after unexpectedly discovering he had cancer.
A shop salesman on a meagre salary and the sole breadwinner for his family, Shaukat Qasim Agaria supported his wife and family and ensured his three children were properly educated. They were managing just fine until tragedy struck in 2011. Shaukat had felt a growth in his mouth and doctors at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) diagnosed him with cancer. Shaukat was given two weeks to undergo surgery or else it would be too late – his cancer was spreading rapidly.
Shaukat was concerned about the cost of surgery as he wouldn’t be able to afford it and provide for his family, so he applied for financial assistance from AKUH. The Patient Welfare Programme and the Patients’ Behbud Society (PBS) for AKUH covered 76% of the total cost of Shaukat’s surgery, easing the burden on him.
However, while Shaukat was undergoing treatment, his family struggled to make ends meet. There were days when his wife found it difficult to put food on the table at home. Given their strained circumstances, AKUH’s welfare office waived a large part of the costs associated with three years of follow-up treatments and visits ensuing his surgery, minimizing Shaukat’s medical expenses.
Today, Shaukat is cancer-free and has regained a large part of the weight he lost during his illness. He and his family are extremely relieved this ordeal is behind them. Shaukat is leading a healthy life, working as a driver and now has five children. He is happy to share that all his children are going to school!
Shaukat and his family cannot forget the care and support provided to them by the medical staff of the AKUH. “[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 caregivers at AKUH.”
Aga Khan University Hospital ensures doors are open for everyone regardless of their financial or socio-economic background. With your continued support, AKUH can provide the same care Shaukat received to many others who will need life-saving cancer treatments they cannot afford and also give them a “second chance at life.”