Family of boy with rare genetic disorder faces financial crisis
Lablu Shikder, the Magura father of 4-year-old boy Bayezid who is suffering from an extremely rare genetic disorder, is finding it almost impossible to cover living costs in Dhaka while his son undergoes treatment.
Bayezid suffers from progeria, which has symptoms resembling premature aging and offers sufferers an optimal life expectancy of around 20 years. He was earlier referred to Dhaka for specialist treatment by Magura Sadar hospital.
Although, since 5 August 2016 Dhaka Medical College Hospital has been treating Bayezid free of cost, Lablu and his family are finding it extremely difficult to manage financially. As the family's sole breadwinner, Lablu's caring for his son in Dhaka means the family has little daily income for the moment. Lablu, who himself has no cash in hand, wonders how long he will be needed at Bayezid's bedside, along with Lablu's wife Tripti Khatun.
When they first arrived in Dhaka a journalist collected Tk 5,000 for them and one medicine consultant from Magura Sadar Hospital, Dr Debashish Biswas, donated another Tk 2,000. But with the general costs of Dhaka living these amounts have already been spent.
For meals, the three family members currently share the two plates of hospital-supplied food, with one plate meant for the patient and the second for a single carer. But Lublu must cover the living costs of five people in total, including his elderly parents; a responsibility that has never been easy to discharge on his meagre income earned as a mason's assistant.
The doctors have been very sincere in their efforts in treating his son, according to Lablu, who notes some seven tests have been conducted for Bayezid in the last few days, with up to 20 further tests ahead. Doctors have told him that his son's treatment may last for two months more.
Lablu is worried about his elderly parents in Magura. He says he may have to leave his son in order to provide for them. He has appealed for public assistance to help cover the family's living costs while Bayezid is admitted in Dhaka.