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Archive for July 11, 2020

Farewell to Dr. Syed Fasihuddin – 9

Today is the second Friday without Fasih. Fridays are the the toughest, as it was that fateful Friday on 26 June when Fasih was taken away from us. I know Fridays will haunt me rest of my life.

He was in the hospital for 5 days. Thats all. He kept updating in few words about his wellbeing. And kept reassuring us he was fine. A message from ‘Syed’ on the group was the happiest moment Fatima, Ismail and I waited for all the time, especially early in the morning, when he would ask the doctor to give him special favour to allow him to message the family.

I often go back to our family messenger group watch his messages, where Fasihs messages kept coming from hospital till he was in ICU but not ventilated.
To all his visitors who went to see him from the glass window he waved a thumbs up.
Mazhar messaged Fatima, “Bobby chachoo is a fighter he is facing it with courage and positivity. And he will sail through.”

Fasih was fortunate to have been given a state of the art care that followed WHO protocol. He was one of the rare in Pakistan, who even recievd Remdesivir. As a healthprofessional and a wife myself, a million details arise in my mind, knowing how involved Fasih was in his own management.
My heart wrenches imagining the visual image of the moment he must have been intubated.  And the imagination of what conversation must have taken place between an ICU Consultant and a Pulmonologist patient being told that he is going to be intubated, and how must he have agreed to it.
A pulmonologist himself who was known for being the most skilled and famous for performing a super smooth intubation to his patients.
How smooth or not must have been his own intubation?
Once ventilated, with general anaesthesia my man slept peacefully, and his messages to us also fell silent.
Even the moment Kosar Baji called me to say, “Bobby has just had a cardiac arrest and they are giving him DC shock.”
I called Fatima and we both were so sure he will get back the heart beat.
He himself had managed a couple of cardiac arrests as a team where the persons had come back and lived for decades. But nothing worked. 2 DC shocks and 30 min of CPR, all proved in vain. Sigh !

My robust, healthy, superfit husband who had absolutely NO comorbidity had to be ventialted in last 2 days of his life and ventilator which he called a life saver to his own patients, could not save him.
Why? Why? Why?
I know why. It is because of those wretched reckless evils who continued to go for Eid shopping, iftars, eid milans and congregational prayers in mosques. How much of a grudge i hold against them, no one can imagine. I will not forgive them.

Even now, my blood boils seeing shopping centers full, ladies thronging stores for Eid discounts. I will never be able to wish well these shopping and party and congregation obsessed morons, who are making known and unknown doctors, healthworkers sick or dead on a daily basis. For no fault of their own.

There are some other health professionals who I know are going through symptoms currently. Some are waiting to get infected, because as a friend today remarked, “Ultimately we all will get it. Virus is not going anywhere. And people are not getting any sense.”

I am so bitter that honestly I want to tell frontline doctors in places where people and govts are not interested in lockdowns,
“Dear docs bund karo mareez dekhna. Jo merna chahtey hain unko bachane ki kya zaroorat hai? Daffa karo proffessional duty. Apni jaanon ko aisey logon ke liye khatm kerne ka koi faayeda nahin hai.”
Let them taste the medicine of their own doing.

Cherish the Living Angels Around you in their Lifetime !

Some people are probably angels walking on earth as human beings.
Family, close friends, his patients knew Fasih exactly as that even in his life. In my decades of association with him, all I heard about him was finest of accolades and praises. People loved him very dearly in his living life. He was one of these fortunate ones who recived immense love for all his life, and is still recieving outpouring of love.
However this post is not about him.

I just want to reassure the world that there must be many such beautiful people around you who just give, without any expectations of return of favour.
Fasih, Fatima, Ismail and I are blessed to know one more such living angel.
She is more than just a friend, to whom I owe many things.
She was the first person I reached out looking for work, when in Canada, after googling about an organization for women’s health and found “Aurat Health Services”.
In the chilly winter of January 2010, it was heavily snowing and I took a bus to meet its founder and CEO.
An extremely good looking, graceful and extremely polished woman greeted me and the only question she asked me was, “How can I help you?”
She later became my only reference to the job I currently hold for United Way.
How did this association develop into a deep friendship I have no clue.
I don’t even remember if I did anything substantial for her EVERRR….Yes I don’t recall anything.
She has been through a lot, from losing her husband as a newly married 15 day old bride 25 years ago in Islamabad after being shot for robbery( and never re-married), to losing her dynamic mother to cancer and then herself going through health issues.
I hardly showed up more than a couple of times to see her ailing mother.
And when she had her surgery, I called her I will come, but just forgot to visit. No excuses, just callousness. She NEVER complained.

And on her end, she has always been there uninvited in all our good and bad times- from Fatima’s wedding preps, to some personal health issues, to Ammi’s visit, when Fatima had nomination for Mississauga Arts Council and Fatima couldn’t attend, Samina represented her in abstentia, to the current devastating tragedy at Fasih home.
From day 1 after Fasih’s demise, she has been popping in, to see Ismail and me, sometimes even twice a day to check on us. She loaded the fridge with Ismail’s favourite foods.
And she is not a faarigh(vella) person by-the-way. Much like Fasih was all the time, her hands are always full with responsibilities taken upon voluntarily.
She is an extremely busy professional and also has social responsibilities like ‘ours’. She is a caregiver to her father. I know she has a bunch of friends, who are her daughter, sister and many things to her, and who are with her like her shadow. ( I am not one of them unfortunately).
Yesterday she came in and we chatted about something.
And in the conversation she mentioned, “Mere peeche tou koi rone wala bhi nahin hai.” ( There’s no one there to cry after me.)
My heart sank as she said it by-the-way. But I held my emotions back. After she left, I howled my heart out.
I want to wish her a long long life, longer than mine. But I also want to tell her, you are not alone. You have a bunch of angels surrounding you on this very earth, in this very Mississauga. I am referring to Ala, Farzeen, Saman and the whole beautiful gang.
Samina Talat I want to tell you, Fatima, Ismail are there for Samina Khala, and so am I for my little behn. I’ll try to get better at it.

I am sorry, I did not take permission from her to share this because I know she wouldn’t have given me. But its okay, if you are angry, come home and scream at me whenever you want.

If you guys have such living angels around you cherish them in their lifetimes. Don’t wait for them to go to remember how selfless they were.

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