Tale of Triumph: Story of Two Sisters
Shahid Kouser, aged 30, felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude when his wife Shezana gave birth to their first son, Ahesem, in 2006. Two years later, their joy expanded with the arrival of their second son, Abdullah. However, the serenity of their happy life shattered upon the birth of their daughter Mursleen, who was born with a cleft lip and palate. This was followed by the birth of another daughter, Muntaha, also facing the challenges of severe cleft conditions.
“Our lives took an unforeseen turn,” expresses Shezana, who is 28. “We encountered questions from people, implying whether our fate was a consequence of past misdeeds, a form of divine retribution. Some even speculated that our family was being punished by a higher power, insinuating that our pride in having two sons was now met with this hardship. Yet, amidst all the whispers, our main concern was solely for our daughters – understanding their condition and fearing for their survival.”
The family resides in the remote village of Pahdanwalin, situated within the Mandi Bahauddin district. It was during this challenging time that a visiting doctor caught sight of the girls and informed Shezana and Shahid about the Cleft Hospital running under care of Pakistan Cleft Lip and Palate Association, conveniently located just 40 kilometers away in the city of Gujrat.Shahid, working as an electrician, shoulders the financial responsibilities for the family, relying on sporadic jobs to provide sustenance. With unwavering support from both their families and friends, the couple pooled every available resource to secure the bus fare required to reach the hospital. Their financial situation was dire, leaving no room for treatment expenses for one daughter, let alone two. “The apprehension about treatment weighed heavily on us, but upon visiting the cleft hospital, we were welcomed with open arms and guided through a comprehensive treatment plan,” Shahid recalls.
“Our daughters underwent surgeries and a series of subsequent follow-up visits, all without incurring a single rupee of expense on their treatment,” he shares.
Today, these young girls, now aged six and four, are presented with a promising future. Seated in their classroom at Arqam Model High School, they blend seamlessly with their peers, bearing no visible differences.
“Our daughters now exude happiness, enjoy good health, and possess a beauty that transcends the physical,” Shahid emphasizes. “This transformation wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated team at Cleft Hospital Pakistan. We carry an eternal gratitude for the transformative work they’ve accomplished.”