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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

World Hemophilia Day, Lahore


While today is not officially WHD, the Hemophilia Patients Welfare Society
(HPWS) Lahore kindly celebrated it today so we could attend. Lahore is the lush capital city of the Punjab province, and with a population of 10 million, the second largest city in Pakistan. It was a wonderful celebration. Attending were patrons, all the doctors who assist patients with bleeding disorders, the HPWS board, and the Punjab Health Minister Muhammad Iqbal, who pledged to give greater assistance to those suffering with bleeding disorders.


An amazing array of about 150 patients attended: a young woman with VWD who had ovarian cysts and almost died but did not, due to one of Project SHARE's donations; a young boy with hemophilia in great shape thanks to Ms. Faiza, the HPWS's wonderful physical therapist; a baby who had a head bleed and sadly developed hydrocephalus and retardation--he was tenderly cradled by his devoted mother; a factor I deficient family whom we have pledged to help. I am happy to say the success stories by far outnumber the tragedies thanks to the dedicated care of the HPWS team. I was especially impressed by how the HPWS is grooming young men and women with hemophilia and VWD to assume leadership of their organization. Not an easy thing to do when there is limited factor and resources.

After the celebration and speeches came lunch, a Q&A, much hugging, smiling, sharing, curiosity. The patients, all Muslims and mostly poor, seemed genuinely touched that we had traveled all the way from the United States.

After the event, Dr. Shahla, who has spearheaded the founding and development of HPWS Lahore, and who herself has VWD, organized a fantastic trip to the Pakistan/India border to witness the "Flag Ceremony," a ceremonial military show on both sides of the border of India and Pakistan, which are separated by only five feet called "No Man's Land." The spectacle was complete with goosestepping Punjabi militia, bugle blowing, shouted commands, flag waving, and tremendously cheering spectators on both sides, who cried "Long Live Hindustan" in reply to "Jiva Jiva Pakistan!" It was thrilling to see the iron gates of both countries open for one hour and for both sides to mirror their moves alternately in a mock display of military might for the crowds.


We thank the HPWS Lahore for inviting us today and allowing us to learn, teach, share and celebrate!

(Photos: World Hemophilia Day, Lahore, Laurie with girl with VWD who was operated on with SHARE donated factor, "Jiva jiva Pakistan!" at the India/Pakistan border.)

6 comments :

Anonymous said...

Thank you Laurie for having started Project Share and Julia for directing this wonderful, community effort. Thank you both for allowing us to vicariously participate in your Pakistan experience through this Blog.

Three Cheers!
Dennis Penning

rabi890@hotmail.com said...

I first time visited your website. This is incredible; your response towards blood diseased patients is so galvanizing that rendered me speechless for a while.
You have not only blazed the trail in a new dimension but your presence in Pakistan also proved that you practice what you preach. Your efforts are certainly a quantum leap towards our society a healthier place to live.
It is fact that we all should think that the question is not whether we will die but how we will live. A famous saying dedicated to all blood disorder patients “An age is called DARK, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it”.And your organization is the only hope for many hemophilic patients.
In the end I would like to volunteer myself for your organization. I feel that what I can do is just a drop in the ocean BUT it may possible that the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
DR MUBEEN AHMED (CANTT BOARD CLIFTON HEALTH CENTER)KARACHI,PAKISTAN.

mianfarooq said...

Thank you very much Laurie and Julia for having visit in our country Pakistan, and I was really inspired to see yours devotion towards the patients. Thanks both of you and hope you will take care of Pakistan Hemophilic Society.

Regards
Mian M Farooq
Novo nordisk
Lahore, pakistan

Anonymous said...

It seems you have had wonderful time in Pakistan. It is real to find someone adores what he/she does to the degree that helping people becomes his/her addiction and the only thing he/she wants. These wonderful photos disclosed your happiness and your passion to this country as well as the hospitality of its community.

Your photos expressed some wonderful traditions outfits that showed us how you were completely into it. You melted into this community and left us touched. You and Julia looked astonishing. This reminds me to thank the cameraman because words will never transmit the same effect.

I am sure your visit to Egypt (One day) will leave the same effect on you and your impression will never be less, if not more than I have felt in that wonderful expressive blog.

Tamer Hanna
Egypt

Anonymous said...

Laurie, thanks so much for sharing your experiences in Pakistan. Your website is loaded with valuable information. I'm here today not as a home healthcare worker specializing in hemophilia, but as a human being touched by your stories and your dedication to the hemophilia community. Keep it coming!
Stan

Gennie said...

Hi...Laurie... hope you are doing great... how's ur son? i met u on hemophilia day 2007 in Lahore.. im a molecular geneticist.

just wanted to say Good luck in what u r doing... may God be pleased with what u'r doing for the betterment of hemophiliacs...

 
Bayer