Ray of hope for Keralite youth, battling Thalassemia

Kannur: A 23-year-old MBBS student M K P Ameer Mohammad, who is suffering from Thalassemia, now has a ray of hope. The government would be looking into Ameer’s request, seeking assistance for the bone marrow transplant surgery.

After coming to know of Ameer's plight through Malayala Manorama, Azhikode MLA K V Sumesh, along with the Chief Minister's Office, Health Minister and the Higher Education Minister, is leading the efforts to help Ameer. He is a native of Keechery in Kannur.

Ameer's tale

From the very second month after his birth, the hospital literally has been the second home for Ameer. He suffered from recurrent fever from a young age and the disease was diagnosed to be Thalassemia major. He has to undergo blood transfusion at regular intervals. Initially, there were long intervals between the blood transfusions. But later the intervals became shorter and now, the blood transfusion has to be done once in two weeks.

Bone marrow transplant is the only cure for the illness. As this is expensive, Ameer sought assistance from the Chief Minister. He took the decision to seek assistance after he lost his father, the family’s lone pillar of support.

Ameer’s father, who worked as a driver in the Gulf, died of a heart attack three months ago. His greatest wish was to see his son become a doctor. To fulfil his father's wish, Ameer battled the illness and secured medical admission. Ameer is a first-year MBBS student at the Pariyaram Government Medical College in Kannur.

Disconsolate after father's death

Ameer is the only son of C Mohammad Kunji and M K P Ayesha. Ameer’s education and medical expenses were met through the income earned by his father in the Gulf. But he passed away three months ago, leaving his family in agony and despair. The family, living on rent at Arayal, currently does not have any income.

Along with his mother, Ameer is now staying at his maternal aunt's house. But they would be returning to the rented house at Arayal.

Battling illness

Though he is 23 years old, Ameer is only as tall as an LP school student. This is because of his illness. Ameer's academic life has also been affected due to the disease. He often missed out on the school classes because of the frequent visits to the hospitals. Even then, he pursued his studies with zest.

His lower primary education was at the Rahmath school at his hometown. He then studied from classes V to X at the Thajul Uloom School at Valapattanam, while he completed plus-two from the Parassinikadavu Government Higher Secondary School. Though he missed out on classes, he secured good marks for plus-two.

Desire to be a doctor

Ameer's earliest memories are of hospitals. Syringes, stethoscopes, medicines, injections and so on have been part of his world. His desire to be a doctor stems from these memories, Ameer said.

After completing plus-two, he joined for entrance coaching and he tasted success during the second entrance exam. He secured admission for MBBS at the Pariyaram Medical College last year.

Kept the illness to himself

Neither his fellow students nor doctors at the Pariyaram Medical College were aware that Ameer has been suffering from Thalassemia major. When asked to do a project during the last International Thalassaemia Day at the college, Ameer wrote about his own experience, and his friends and doctors came to know of his illness. They also became aware of the situation at his home only then.

After the doctors persuaded him, Ameer decided to seek the government's assistance for the bone marrow transplant. Ameer is now elated to know that his efforts would finally yield results.

While submitting a request, Ameer openly wrote about his plight to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. After the issue was brought to notice by Manorama, the proceedings were initiated. MLA K V Sumesh, who was in Thiruvananthapuram for the Assembly session, discussed the issue with Health Minister Veena George and Higher Education Minister R Bindu. And it was agreed that Ameer could be provided the necessary assistance by including him in the health department's 'We Care' project.

K V Sumesh MLA has been directed to submit a detailed application, along with Ameer’s medical records and the statement issued by the hospital on the treatment expenses, to the health department.

Still under treatment

Ameer is still undergoing blood transfusions. He used to undergo blood transfusions at the government hospital at Mangaluru. But now it is difficult to travel to Mangaluru due to the Covid regulations. Therefore, he is undergoing the blood transfusion at the Kannur district government hospital. Ameer, who was at the Pariyaram Medical College, is now staying at his maternal aunt's house at Mankadavu as the classes are held online.

Ameer has taken solace over MLA K V Sumesh’s assurance to him that a decision would be taken soon in consultation with the Chief Minister over the necessary steps for the surgery and follow-up treatment.

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