A few months ago, Faisal Abdullah Malik, a Pakistani man who received a heart transplant from Chennai’s Fortis Hospital thanked the mother of an Indian donor and authorities in a heartwarming letter. He was happy to get a fresh lease of life but since a month, Faisal is struggling to save his Indian heart which is getting sick due to improper treatment in Karachi.
He has already sent several emails to Indian High Commission and also asked for help from Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, through tweets. However, he did not get any hopeful response from them. Faisal, who believed that he is half Indian now, had applied for an emergency medical visa on January 8, 2018.
I'm a heart patient from Pakistan & received transplant from@fortis_hospital Chennai, India. My transplanted heart is failing & I'm
unable to receive appropriate advice/ treatment in Pak.1/2
— Faisal Aey Malik (@FAMBraveHeart) March 8, 2018
Know About Faisal’s Story
In 2014, Faisal was diagnosed with the disease viral myocarditis – a condition that weakens and enlarges the heart muscles. The condition requires a heart transplant.
He approached several countries for treatment but was refused help. That is when Chennai’s Fortis Malar Hospital stepped in. Faisal went through a 90-minute heart transplant operation that was performed by a team led by Dr K R Balakrishnan on January 2, 2015.
“I thought I was in good shape. It cannot be that bad. I thought it was the end of my life,” said an overwhelmed Faisal to The Logical Indian.
“I belong to a middle-class family, a son after five daughters of my very hard working parents. I studied hard after graduation, did my Masters in Business Administration and became an Executive in a Commercial Bank. I am blessed with a loving wife and two adorable kids. It was time to pay back to my family. However, the only thing that keeps playing in my mind was that I am lying on a death bed, and I would die soon,” he added.
He further said that hospitals in Karachi gave him the advice to not opt for a heart transplant. “They suggested that I live a little longer with the help of medicines. However, I decided their advise and India was the only country that accepted me as a transplant patient when I was refused from rest of the world,” continued Faisal.
He travelled from Karachi-Dubai-Chennai on December 5, 2014 – the most painful journey of his life as he suffered multiple organ failures and his condition created a troublesome situation for the flight crew. However, he reached Fortis Malar Hospital where he was admitted for 22 days.
The first task of the doctors was to stabilize Faisal’s failing organs – kidneys, lung, and liver. Then they waited for a donor to replace his heart. The turning point in Faisal’s life came when the family of Mohin Raj, an Indian citizen, agreed to save Faisal’s life.
Mohin was a 26-year-old web designer who met with a bike accident in Coimbatore. Due to a severe accident, he was left brain dead and his parents decided to donate all his vital organs. He traveled to Coimbatore, 510 km away from Chennai, through a chartered jet plane.
Faisal, who used to travel to Chennai’s hospital every year for an annual check-up, thinks that his journey is a “yearly pilgrimage”.
However, the pilgrimage came to an end this year as he is facing visa issues.
Faisal’s Gratitude For India
Faisal’s gratitude for the Indian government, Indian High Commission, Tamil Nadu State Government and Health Minister of Andra Pradesh, and doctors and nurses knows no bounds.
In a heartwarming letter to the donor’s mother, Faisal wrote, “You and I may never meet or even speak, but we will remain forever connected at the divine-spiritual level. Your son and I will remain forever intertwined as the heart that grew in your womb now pumps blood through my body. We have merged, and your son will forever live in me.”
He told The Logical Indian, “I could still feel the change when I regained consciousness and opened my eyes after the heart transplant.”
“I fought a long war of survival, and I am still fighting to save my Indian Donor Heart. I do not want to lose Mohin Raj who is living inside me! I promised his mother that I would take the best care of his son’s heart, but I need my doctor’s help in my struggle,” said Faisal.
The Logical Indian appeals to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, to look into the matter and save the heart of an Indian donor that beats inside Faisal. Despite the countries’ troubling relationship, we should sympathise with the patient and do our best to save a human life. We hope that an emergency medical visa is provided to Faisal so that his family’s only hope and smile never fade away.
Also published on Medium.