For almost his entire life, nine-year-old Alimun Sheikh, only son of Bagerhat’s Sakhina Begum, has been afflicted by 12 tumors in his small body.
They first appeared when he was just a year old, and with the passage of time his condition just keeps deteriorating further.
Sakhina Begum, a single mother who works as a day labourer (when work is to br found) can never afford his required treatment with her meagre income.
Hailing from Gazalia union of the district, Sakhina lost her husband when Alimun was only four years old. Since then, she has been forced to work as the sole breadwinner in the family, working day and night to save her only son’s life.
Little Alimun has six large tumors on the back side of his head and six more in the rest of his body.
When they first appeared, aged just one, Alimun was admitted to the Khulna Medical Hospital for treatment, but the doctors failed to diagnose his disease and sent him home.
As the years passed, the tumors grew larger and turned potentially malignant. On Sunday, Alimun was admitted to Bagerhat Sadar Hospital as his condition became more critical.
His story went viral on social media as his teacher Md Jahidul Islam posted Alimun’s photos on Facebook in an appeal for help. Here we get a demonstration of the potential and reach of social media, as through sharing and common friends, the post somehow came to the attention of Dr. Arun Chandra Mondol, Civil Surgeon of Bagerhat – just who was needed.
Dr Mondal then helped Alimun get admitted in the hospital, where he confirmed that he first came to know about the case through Facebook He will however play no role in a 3-member Medical Committee formed to assess Alimun’s condition and suggest possible ways forward.
But the doctors are also puzzled over his condition. “We will give our opinion only after proper examination,” said Dr. Sayeed Ahmed, who is heading the committee.
Chairman of Gazalia union Md Nasir Uddin told UNB that in amidst all the pleas to help from various corners, Alimun’s family had been brought under the net of social security – through the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) card and the chairman personally committed to doing his best for Sukhaina Begum and her family, especially Alimun.
Sakhina Begum, Alimun’s struggling mother, urged the society to come forward to save her son’s life and ‘let humanity win’.