Written by Firdaus Husain | August 30, 2017 9:33 AM | Blogs

Firdaus Hussain_More to Give

New Delhi: On December 19, 2014, my daughter Zainab returned from school wearing a pink frock and a silver tiara that she had chosen to wear for the carol singing competition. I had no idea that that day would mark the beginning of the most difficult battle of my life.

For nine days thereon, Zainab suffered from a mild fever, and continuous nausea. Medication wasn’t helping her, and her ever smiling face had become tired and pale. She wasn’t eating, or even talking – not a single word.

On December 28, Zainab was admitted to the Pediatric ICU of Noida’s Fortis Hospital. Lord, please save my daughter: a silent prayer that kept playing repeatedly in my mind as I clasped tightly my little girl’s hands.

Around midnight, the doctor diagnosed her with End Stage Renal Disease. The news drained all colour from my face. I couldn’t breathe or move; I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. I stared blankly at my husband’s shocked face.

Dialysis would help her temporarily, while the only permanent solution was a kidney transplant.

Dialysis began on December 31 with left femoral access. A catheter, a tube like any common juice straw pipes, was inserted in her upper left thigh. We spent about a week in the hospital during which Zainab was pricked in all possible places on her body. It was the most grueling phase of my life. To see her crying all the time was killing me, and draining my strength.

For the transplant, we needed a matching kidney of a close relative. Who could be closer than parents? But neither me, nor my husband were a match. This was another blow to my face.

Most of our family members came forward and offered to donate their kidney, but none of them were suitable. The only match was that of our diabetic mother-in-law.

We found ourselves feeling extremely helpless. The waiting list for a cadaver organ was long. Hope, too, was dying within us.

The anticipation of a deceased pediatric kidney brought us to Chennai’s Fortis Malar Hospital in March, 2015. I took a tough decision to stay in the southern city until Zainab received a kidney. But the wait was taxing. Even in a state like Tamil Nadu where the rate of deceased organ donation is relatively higher, our optimism was taking a beating.

On January 6, 2016, our prayers were answered. An ‘angel’ gave Zainab the most precious gift possible, the gift of life.

Read: Zainab’s Letter To The Angel Who Continues To Live On In Her

Zainab was all smiles. She was celebrating her second birth. The Renal Transplant ICU staff said her reaction was quite surprising. While adults would groan and writhe in pain, my little girl was beaming.

Just eight days after the surgery, my brave girl was discharged. She meticulously followed every instruction doled out by the doctor. Her ordeal was over.

Now she’s allowed to eat anything. She sings, dances, plays with her Barbie dolls, makes big castles with Lego blocks, reads, goes out cycling, and does everything she ought to be doing at her age. It gives me and my husband immense pleasure to watch her grow, and enjoy life.

Even if I thank the parents of the little angel, who saved my daughter’s life, every second of my life, it won’t be enough. There is no comparison between anything we gift to Zainab, and the gift she got from them. We wish them happiness.