Life-saving surgery for Mehnaz thanks to humedica individual case aid

by Heidi Nicklin/RBU, 2011/03/19

The relief efforts of humedica are always aimed at helping as many people in misery as possible. But beyond that, our project team members also direct their attention to individual persons who are in need of special support.

humedica coordinator Heidi Nicklin at one of the still numerous refugee camps in the south of Pakistan. Photo: humedica

humedica coordinator Heidi Nicklin is managing a project in the south of Pakistan, which has the objective of providing for undernourished persons who are still living in misery even seven months after the devastating flood disaster. Such as the young woman Mehnaz, whose life was not only threatened by existential poverty, but also by a severe disease.

"Mehnaz is a 22 year-old woman from Pakistan. She is married and has a three year-old son and a daughter aged one. Mehnaz lives in a clay hut built on a bank between two canals of Indus River, close to the city of Sukkur in the Pakistani province of Sindh.

Shortly after Christmas last year, she had to go to a hospital in Sukkur because she had difficulties in breathing. There, she was examined in the cardiology department and she was diagnosed with a rheumatic heart disease.

Since her health could be stabilised once more by means of appropriate drugs, she could be dismissed after a few hours and was referred to a hospital in the city of Karachi for vital further treatment; this meant a journey of 600 kilometres.

On January 1st of this year, she went to Karachi with her father. In order to do the long and complicated journey, Mehnaz' family had to borrow money from all their relatives.

Before the surgery, Mehnaz (left) had pains in her breast and she was too weak to take care of her children on her own. This task was taken over by her mother. Photo: humedica/Heidi Nicklin

After the first examinations had been conducted, her father returned to Sukkur and told the rest of the family and me about the results. A date for the heart surgery had been fixed - it was to take place two weeks later.

I met Mehnaz once more even before the planned surgery. She was with her family, waiting for the surgery. I was alarmed by the young woman's weakness. Furthermore, she complained about pains to her heart even when doing the slightest movements.

When the day of the surgery had arrived, Mehnaz once more went to the hospital in Karachi. She was nervous and tense. Doubtless, this nervousness also was a contributing factor for her heart rate to be too high for a surgical intervention. Once again, the young woman from Pakistan was given medications and the surgery had to be postponed.

But during this new waiting period, Mehnaz became anxious once again. Among other things, her anxiety was caused during talks to other patients at the hospital, who managed to unsettle her. Unfortunately, we can quite often observe the problem that illiterate persons are far too easily swayed and unsettled by the accounts of other people.

Fortunately, we were able to convince the young Pakistani woman of the importance of this surgery during another visit and we managed to alleviate her of most of her fears.

On January 31, 2011, Mehnaz finally had her heart surgery. The operation progressed without complications and the traces of the surgery have healed well in the meantime.

After this surgery Mehnaz is on her way to recovery. She is on her way to a new life. Photo: humedica/Heidi Nicklin

Mehnaz is no longer suffering pain. She was only told to go easy for six months and she is given a post-operative injection once a month. These injections are administered by the health staff of our partner organisation Riverside Slum Children Project.

After these six months, she will for a last time have to undergo a concluding examination. According to the attending physician, Mehnaz will then be able to lead a perfectly normal life thanks to the surgery."

In the framework of the individual case aid of humedica and thanks to your donations, we have so far been able to change and save numerous lives. We would like to ask you to continue supporting this special individual case aid by means of an online donation or by making a donation to the account below:

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference "Individual Case Aid"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can also support us in a safe, fast and direct way by means of sending a text message: send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 81190. You will donate 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica relief projects. Thank you very much!

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