Your Zakat saved my son’s life

Waqar Ahmed comes from an average, working class family in Lahore. For his parents, who struggle to make ends meet, Waqar’s cancer diagnosis in 2011, felt like a death sentence for their only son.

Waqar was 11 years old when he was taken ill while out playing with his friends after school. After passing out, Waqar was taken to the nearest clinic where tests showed that he had a tumor. His parents were in shock. How could a healthy, 11 year-old boy have cancer? Yet the more pressing question was, how would they be able to afford the high cost of treatment for their son?

With every hospital and clinic they took Waqar to, his parents only grew more hopeless. The bills were mounting up and no doctor could offer a satisfactory solution. Shaukat Khanum Hospital was their final resort. They found it to be an entirely different world altogether.

“Unlike other hospitals we had taken Waqar to before,” Waqar’s father says, “no one refused to cooperate or was harsh with us. From the moment we entered the walk-in clinic until today, Waqar has been receiving the best care available at the best facilities available in Pakistan. What is most unbelievable is that we are able to receive this without paying a single penny.”

Following his biopsy, Waqar was admitted to Shaukat Khanum and his chemotherapy treatments began within two weeks of admission. Initially the treatment was very painful for him, as Waqar’s body couldn’t withstand the severity of the medicine. It wasn’t long after that he started losing his hair. As the weeks progressed, Waqar grew pale and his weight was reduced almost to half. “With the treatment going on for full days at time, we prayed to Allah Almighty for the life of our beloved son,” Waqar’s mother recalls. “It was the most painful time of our lives. I remember that I did not sleep for many nights, because Waqar used to call me in his pain.”

Waqar underwent 16 chemo sessions during his 8 months of treatment at Shaukat Khanum Hospital. At age 17, now he is in the clear, and back at school with all his other friends. Waqar still comes in regularly for follow-up checkups, but this is not the only reason why he visits Shaukat Khanum Hospital. A born artist, singer, actor and a performer, Waqar volunteers with the hospital’s Activities Team, to help support and boost the morale of cancer patients still receiving treatment.

“I pray to God for the fulfilment of my son’s dreams,” says Waqar’s mother. “I also pray for the hospital’s management, doctors, staff and all the supporters of Imran khan Cancer Appeal. Their Zakat saved my son’s life. Above all I thank Imran Khan for helping poor cancer patients.”


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