By Bilal Kuchay
Dramatic visuals show the plight of a nine-year-old Pakistani boy whose belly has swelled up to the size of a beach ball.
Shah Gul Mazari from Guddu, a small town in the Pakistan’s Sindh province, has been suffering from Hirschsprung which is causing his belly to grow at an abnormal rate.
The child’s painful-looking mass is so massive that the parents find it very difficult to get clothes of his size.
They also do not send him to school fearing other students would bully him.
Born as the third child to parents Niaz Mazari, 45, and Mian Zohran, 40, Shah was quite a normal baby at the time of birth.
The parents, however, said that his life changed once he turned a year old.
“He was born a normal baby but by the time he turned one, his stomach bloated. He would cry incessantly and not drink milk properly.
“We took him to local doctors who diagnosed him with some disease and operated on him to remove a part of his colon.
“But after few weeks of the surgery, my son started feeling the pain again and within few months, his belly again started swelling,” said Niaz Mazari, the father of the boy.
Hirschsprung’s disease is a condition that affects the large intestine (colon) and causes problems with passing stool. The condition is present at birth (congenital) as a result of missing nerve cells in the muscles of the baby’s colon.
Father of five children, Niaz Mazari works as a daily wager and earns less than £3 a day. He says that shortage of money has restricted him from taking Shah for advance medical treatment.
“We had taken him to a government hospital where medicines for his treatment were given for free. But there was no improvement in his condition and with every passing day the size of his abdomen was only increasing.
“I wanted him to get advance treatment but could not afford to take him to a city hospital or a private clinic as I lack the crucial funds.
“For years we have remained dependent on the free medicines given by doctors at the government hospital.
“But now we are worried about his life as his belly is not stopping growing,” Mazari added.
However, as the word of the child’s life-threatening condition has spread locally, a Karachi based Police officer Fida Hussain Mastoi has come to the rescue of the child and has offered to pay for his treatment.
The good Samaritan said: “I feel very bad about the kid. I spoke to his parents and told them to bring the child to Karachi so that I can take him to Jinnah Hospital. I will bear all his expenses here in Karachi.”
With Mastoi’s offer, Shah’s parents are hopeful that their son can have a life-saving surgery and lead a normal life.
“We are hopeful that our son can have a good future if he get treated for his condition at a big hospital Jinnah Hospital in Karachi.
“We hope God listen to our prayers soon,” Mazari added.