Social media today can do much more than just connect and communicate. It can also help save lives. Taqi Hassan, a resident of Lucknow was able to undergo a complex life-saving surgery with the help of funds raised through social media appeals for help. He received 8 lakhs through donations by Sikh and Muslim communities from USA and Australia which was used to remove a tumour via an anterior craniofacial resection surgery in October 2016 by a team headed by Dr Mandeep S Malhotra, Head, Department of Head, Neck and Breast Oncoplasty and Dr Rana Patir, Director & HOD, Neurosurgery at Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj.
Taqi Hassan had dreams like all of us and to fulfill these, he went abroad to work as an electrician. However, an accidental fall caused serious injuries to his head, bringing life to a brief halt. He resumed work after a few weeks but fell down the stairs once again after a bout of dizziness. Taqi knew something was amiss and decided to return home to Lucknow to consult a doctor and get treatment. Initially he was treated for his dizzy spells, however, he developed a swelling, diagnosed as a tumour on the forehead above his right eye. He underwent his first surgery in Lucknow to get it removed. Soon after, the tumour recurred twice at the same spot for which he underwent repeated surgeries. Post his 4th surgery, Taqi was mentally, physically, financially and emotionally drained. He had no money and had lost all hope while the tumor appeared again and was spreading rapidly to the orbit, eyeball and face, almost touching his brain cells. It was then that a relative residing in Australia suggested appealing for funds on social media. His story resulted in support pouring from all quarters, even from across the border. Sikh & Muslim well-wishers from Australia and USA came forward to help fund his fifth surgery. A sum of 8 lakhs was raised to assist in the surgery at the facility.
Taqi underwent anterior craniofacial resection surgery on October 13th at Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital. A large mass of 11cm X 7cm with solid cysts involving right frontal sinus and right orbit with defects was removed from his right forehead. His right eye ball was dissected and a flap transplant was done where a section of skin was taken from his waist and stitched up as a flap around the hollow space on his right forehead extending up to his ears. The complex surgery lasting 16 hours was conducted under the supervision of Dr Mandeep S Malhotra, HOD, Head, Neck and Breast Oncoplasty and Dr Rana Patir, Director & HOD, Neurosurgery at Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital. While Dr Mandeep removed his tumour, Dr Rana helped in salvaging the affected part of his brain.
Dr Mandeep S Malhotra, Department head of Head, Neck and Breast Oncoplasty, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital said, “After analyzing his condition, it was found that his surgery could be life-threatening due to its complexity and the spread of the malignant tumour. The previous surgeries had resulted in complications, resulting in the loss of the right eye. Our team spent days planning the surgery and when we came out of the OT after 16 hrs, we knew that Taqi had helped us win the battle.’
“A part of his brain was also affected, hence the surgery became complicated as we had to remove the skin layer of the brain. His forehead was infected and we planned to remove it. Bone grafting wasn’t possible in his case so we decided to construct the skull part with skin only. I was overwhelmed to see his recovery,” said Dr Rana Patir, Director & HOD, Neurosurgery, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital.
Mr Abrar Ali Dalal, Facility Director, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital shared, ”I am glad that we have a team of excellent doctors who are renowned for handling delicate cases. This surgery was rarest among the rare and when I met the patient at the time of discharge, it was more than satisfactory to see him smiling.”
Today Taqi is disease-free and will be leading a normal life soon post check-ups and follow ups. In his words, “I had lost all hope and money and coming to Delhi was not an option for me. But the support of funds from generous well-wishes combined with the skills of Dr Mandeep & Dr Patir have saved my life. I am cancer free now and feel like I am born again,” smiles Taqi.
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