Pakistani kids offer to sell themselves for mother's surgery

Omar Illyas, son of 35-year-old Aqsa Parveen of Vehari town in Punjab province, said all valuables in their house had been sold and their only chance of saving their mother's life was to offer themselves now, the Express Tribune reported Friday.

Parveen was told at Lahore's Shaikh Zayed Hospital that she needed a kidney transplant.

A doctor there said the procedure would cost up to Rs.500,000 and that one of her children would have to donate a kidney, Parveen said.

As she did not have the required funds at that time, she came back home and since then has not consulted a physician. She has sold almost all things in her house and was now dependent on her sister and her brother-in-law.

Parveen's husband Rana Illyas died five years ago also due to a kidney ailment. Omar Illyas had to discontinue his studies after the 10th grade and worked part-time at a pesticides factory. His siblings Iqra, Sana and Ali Raza were also forced to leave their education midway after studying till the 12th grade, ninth grade and sixth grade respectively.

On hearing about Parveen's plight, the provincial government has now deputed two senior officials to address the issue.

Parveen has reportedly been moved to the district headquarters hospital, where she is being given free-of-charge dialysis.

Officials said the government would arrange all medical facilities required by the woman, and has asked people to donate funds for her treatment.

Tahir Anwar Wala, a PML-N leader has offered a Rs.5,000 a month job to Omar and has also announced to fund the boy's education for as long as he wanted to study.

However, PML-Q provincial assembly member Tahir Iqbal said every other household in the province was facing similar healthcare problems, and termed it as a "failure of the government's health policy".

He accused the government of not being serious about the treatment of the woman. When she needed an immediate transplant, why was the government delaying it, he asked.

He threatened to file a murder case against the provincial government if something happened to the woman due to the "delaying tactics".

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