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World

January 27, 2020

Quetta child operated for rare condition in UK after The News, Geo appeal raises £40,000

World

Mon, Jan 27, 2020
Picture shared by the family shows seven-year-old Mohammad Safwan Zaman from Quetta, Pakistan posing for the camera. 

LONDON: A child from Quetta suffering from a rare and complex heart condition was operated on Monday at the Harley Street hospital after an appeal published on Geo.tv and The News managed to raise more than £40,000 for his treatment.

Mohammad Safwan Zaman, 7, is affected by a complex cardiac defect (double outlet right ventricle with large VSD and previous pulmonary artery hand) that required medical and surgical care in order to protect his heart and lung circulation from ongoing damage.

The child's father, Haji Gul Zaman, told this correspondent that his son was operated for eight hours on Monday. "He is unconscious and we are praying for the best. The doctors have said they are optimistic. Next few hours and days are very crucial. My son is tiny and the operation is too big for his body but we had no option to save his life," he said.

Mr Zaman brought his seven-year-old son to London for the treatment after selling his properties and managing to raise around £30,000. After arriving in London, the father was told that he will require at least £40,000 more as the total cost of the operation was approximated at nearly £70,000.

On December 22, Geo.tv and The News published a story highlighting the plight of Mohammad Safwan Zaman and, within hours, several individuals and organisations responded to the article and started sending funds to the account and contact details published here.

Image shows seven-year-old Mohammad Safwan Zaman from Quetta, Pakistan undergoing a medical procedure at the private Harley Street clinic in London.

The UK Medical Aid to Pakistan raised nearly £10,000 within a month and deposited the money into the hospital account four days ago.

Cardiologist Dr Khurram Mushtaq Gardezi set up a page to raise funds from Pakistani physicians. London-based businessman Danial Schon raised money through his friends and family.

Spine specialist Dr Irfan Malik got the child checked by a leading Pakistani surgeon in Newcastle and it was decided that the best place to get the treatment was at the private Harley Street clinic. Campaigners Fraz Ahmed and Adnan Zahid joined hands with a charity and raised money towards the total besides helping Mr Zaman and Safwan with local accommodation and travel.

Safwan was initially being treated at Karachi's Agha Khan Hospital by cardiac surgeon Professor Saleem Akhtar. The doctor had told the family that Safwa could not be treated in Pakistan and recommended taking him to London.

Dr Alessandro Giardini and Dr Martin Kostolny, Consultant Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeons at the Harley Street Clinic, said in a report that the young patient tends to sweat easily and cannot exercise and, when active, tends to complain of breathlessness and chest pain.

The doctors had told the family that "this is a very complex anatomy and this is something that is very difficult to repair."

On Sunday, Haji Gul Zaman thanked The News and Geo for helping him raise the required funds. "I am thankful to everyone who has helped my child. Just a few days ago, there was total darkness for me but the news articled helped me a lot. This would not have been possible without The News and Geo. Dr Khurram Mushtaq Gardezi spent half a day with us on the operation day. Everyone else has been extremely helpful. I am thankful to everyone for donating money and taking care of my son."