Zahra: Zahra is a survivor of childhood cancer. Three years following her diagnosis, she's now fully recovered.

“We have learned that it is hope which keeps you alive. I made many friends at the hospital, which now feels like our second home.”

Zahra had been complaining of fever and pain in her legs. Fearing polio, her parents took her to an Orthopaedic consultant who prescribed some medicine. Initially Zahra responded well, but soon after she regressed into crawling mode. Her parents took her to another Orthopaedic consultant for a second opinion. Suspecting a blood disorder, he prescribed a series of tests and x-rays, which revealed a diagnosis of blood cancer.

“We were devastated,” her mother says, “We took our child from one hospital to another in search of treatment, but in vain. Some hospitals lacked equipment while others lacked trained medical staff. One doctor advised us to prepare for the worst. This was the most horrific moment of my life. It felt as if my child was slipping out of my grasp and I could do nothing but wait and watch. Fortunately, someone advised us to go to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH). When we went there, we were astonished to see the facilities available as well as the cooperative staff and, in particular, the qualified consultants.”

Due to Zahra’s rapidly deteriorating condition, an aggressive treatment plan was chalked out with utmost urgency. Initially, the improvement in Zahra’s health was slow. “But we have learned that it is hope which keeps you alive,” says her mother. “I made many friends at the hospital, which now feels like our second home.”

After nearly three years, Zahra’s consultant jubilantly informed her family that she had fully recovered and did not require further treatment. “Our family was thrilled to the core, incredibly happy and grateful to hospital staff. Not only had our child been cured but she was treated free of cost. I will always remain thankful to the Almighty and am indebted to Imran Khan for building this cancer hospital.”

“Today our little Zahra, who once seemed to be ‘growing backwards,’ is once again growing up as any healthy child. She is a survivor of childhood cancer and our brave little warrior. As a mother, words cannot express the joy I feel in watching my little girl grow after enduring so much at such a tender age.”

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