R. Sujatha

Thanks to Shia community members and SRMC doctors

CHENNAI: Five-month-old Mohammed would not have lived to be a bouncy one-year-old had it not been for the kindness of members of the Shia community and that of the Indian medical staff at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Hospital, Porur.

Mohammed was suffering from breathing problems.

His father Nafee works as a security guard in Haram at Karbala in Iraq, where he met a Yemen-based businessman who suggested that the child be treated in India.

He used his clout to raise support for Nafee's travel to India. Bushra, Mohammed's mother, who is with the child at SRMC, says: "It is normal to see bombing in Iraq."

"Every day at least one place gets bombed and 40 to 50 people die," says the Yemen-based businessman who refused to reveal his identity. Besides Mohammed, Nafee and Bushra have two sons and a daughter, aged 8, 12, and 13, who are staying with relatives in Karbala.

The eight-hour road journey from Karbala to Basra was made in the darkness with security. From Basra the family flew to Dubai and then to Mumbai where a Shia-community hospital diagnosed the child's condition.

Doctors there got in touch with K.R. Balakrishnan, paediatric cardiologist attached to Sri Ramachandra Hospital. Mohammed, who was operated on Friday, will leave for Karbala in a few days.

Nafee and Bushra are grateful to Dr. Syedna M. Burhanuddin and the community that helped them. Dr. Balakrishnan says: "As for the procedure itself, it is something we do every day here. But I did not realise that the surgery had less risk than the risk they took while driving from Karbala to Basra."

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