Young Toryalai, a sweet-natured Pathan boy, and his family travelled all the way from Kunduz in north-eastern Afghanistan to FMIC in Kabul for his treatment. Toryalai had been sick for over a month when he came to us, but the next time he fell ill, his family did not waste any time in bringing him back. They knew that we would help.
It had been over a week and 12-year-old Toryalai was still running a fever.
His family had run from one healer to another in their hometown with little luck. With a healthcare system completely ravaged by over two decades of war, little to no professional medical help was available to them.
No longer able to see their son so sick and weak, Toryalai’s family decided despite their limited means to travel 350 kilometres down south to the country’s capital.
In Kabul, a private physician diagnosed Toryalai with a chest infection and referred him to a public hospital for specialist care. A month and a half passed by with the young boy showing no real signs of improvement.
The doctors at the government hospital finally told his parents, “Take him to the French Medical Institute for Children, and get him admitted to its Intensive Care Unit fast.”
“We came close to losing the most valuable possession of our family, but FMIC gave him back to us. We are poor and we could not afford this kind of treatment but we did not have to worry about anything. Toryalai is our little miracle child and we want to thank all the nurses and the doctors for making everything available for our child.”
At FMIC, the resident paediatrician immediately realized that the boy had been misdiagnosed and mismanaged: he had an infection on the surface of the lung rather than inside it. The FMIC team started Toryalai on appropriate therapy and, in less than a week, he was headed home.
However, a few months later, Toryalai fell sick again. Without wasting time, his family took him straight to FMIC. This time his lung had collapsed preventing him from breathing properly but all attempts to treat him failed.
As Toryalai lay precariously close to death, surgery was the only option — but no surgeon in Afghanistan had performed this surgery on their own.
Toryalai was lucky a second time around: a French cardiac surgeon visiting FMIC could perform the complicated surgery to save the boy. Two months later Toryalai was discharged, healthy and well.
Because of the extended stay in the hospital and complicated surgery and treatment, the medical bill had sky-rocketed, which FMIC covered through its patient welfare programme.
Toryalai’s father remains ever grateful: “We came close to losing the most valuable thing in our family and FMIC gave him back to us. Toryalai is our little miracle child and we thank all the nurses and the doctors for making everything available for our child.”
FMIC in Afghanistan
FMIC caters to the needs of two million children in Afghanistan. Like Toryalai, many of the children admitted suffer from life-threatening conditions and are treated irrespective of their ability to pay. In its six years, FMIC’s welfare programe has, so far, spent approximately US$ 16 million on patients.