Muqarram would have been twenty three years old.He worked as a barber in notorius Muzzafarnagar.He was brought in by his parents barely breathing ,he had a tachycardia of around 170 beats per minute.He was being treated as tuberculosis by the local quacks.
He had chronic rheumatic valvular heart disease with florid Mitral regurgitation,Aortic regurgutation,Mitral stenosis and presented with congestive cardiac failure and infective endocardites.
Thus began our tyrst with this young man.
Everyday we would hopefully go to his bed-side to see some kind of progress.
Blood cultures were hard to come by and he had to travel a distance of more than 60 kms to get the echocardiography.He was hardly stable to make that journey.
Everyday during the rounds I would chat a little bit with his parents.Mother was an unusually strong serene person who never got on our way.The father did all he was asked to without any question.
Muqarram would give us a mute ,blank look everyday in between catching his breath.
He stabilised with time.The gleam came to his eyes.His eyes would light up whenever we came around for the morning rounds.
I requested Paramjeet our local pastor to share the gospel with him.
'The next day he saw me, sat up and promptly said-'namaste Dr jee.'
Somehow through the entire tyrst he seemed to have sensed that he had made some kind of connection.
He went for his echocardiography.He turned out to have infective endocardites after all.He was second week into his antibiotics doing extermely well.
We shifted him to the general ward.I had started talking to the parents about the definative management and arrangements for the valve surgery.He would all along look at me with eyes wide open listening intently.
One day when I went around for my rounds-I happily asked -'How are you Muquarram?'
There was no answer,instead he was lying in the bed fitting away.
The father who had been sitting beside him was stunned-he had been fine and chatting away a moment before.
One of our ward aids carried him to the ICU where we stabilised him.
He still had two episodes after that.
They could not go for a CT scan.We put him on anti-convulscents and waited for the morning to come.
The next morning he had another episode and by the time the doctor on duty came he had arrested fully.His parents refused to let him be intubated.
I was informed after the CPR had failed.
This was the first death I had really faced after starting my work this year in HCH.
I was deeply upset.
I did not meet Muquarram's parents.
His uncle came to see me later .
His exact words were,'You all worked so hard Dr jee but it was Allah's wish that prevailed.'
I needed to be reminded .
Farewell Muquarram ,my friend-I pray that I might have been able to give you some comfort in your last days.