May 12 Mayhem Victim

The blind bullet, the black future

By Jamil Khan | KARACHI

THE only sounds to be heard in the ICU ward of the Liaquat National Hospital were the low beeps of different machines that had several wires attached to the patients, including Qadeer, who was on bed number six. The brown patches underneath his eyes had darkened into black circles, after lying motionless for a week. The paramedical staff checked the monitors every 15 minutes.
Twenty-eight-year-old, Qadeer Ahmed, who was on his way to pick up workers to drop at Port Qasim on May 12, never reached work that day. Instead was rushed to the Liaquat National Hospital in critical condition, where he still is. A blind bullet not only damaged his skull but also darkened his future. A driver by profession, Qadeer was married just two months ago.
“The bullet not only damaged the front portion of the skull, but the shockwaves also damaged the main artery to the brain, which resulted in paralysis of almost half his body, including an arm and one leg,” said neurosurgeon, Dr. Salman Sharif. He also mentioned that the chances of Qadeer surviving were slim as history showed only one patient out of 20 survived this condition.
Qadeer’s family resides in Natha Khan Goth, Shah Faisal Town, inhabited mostly by Pashto-speaking people. Qadeer is the youngest of four brothers and one sister, all of who are married. “He is one of the most beloved members of our family and had a happy life, which was ruined,” said brother Fazlur Rehman.
The family, belonging to a conservative clan, originally from Abbottabad, has been living in Karachi for the last four decades. After the marriages of his siblings, who separated to live on their own, Qadeer stayed back with his mother in the family house. “Though, he had not completed his education, he had good skills as a driver and was earning a suitable amount of money for his family and was also trying to get a better job,” said brother Sabir Ahmed.
So far, more than Rs 150,000 has been spent on Qadeer’s treatment, as the hospital charges ICU patients Rs 5,000 per day. The family refused the compensation announced by the government when the union council nazim approached them to submit an application.
Qadeer’s mother, known as Bari Khala in the neighbourhood, was seen among a group of women in the family house, wiping her tear-filled eyes with her head-scarf. The number of women milling about her house, to offer whatever comfort they could, went down only after the sunset. “We are praying for a miracle,” said Sabir.
-Published in Daily Times | May 15, 2007

~ by jamilkhan on June 21, 2008.

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