Saturday, January 9, 2016, Poush 26, 1422 BS, Rabiul Awal 27, 1437 Hijri

Tale of a Good Samaritan
Maj Gen Prof Dr Harun, a surgeon extraordinary, gets gold medal  
Published :Saturday, 9 January, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 77
Saifunnahar Sumi
A doctor is not a Good Samaritan-so says the adage. But there are perhaps as many myth busters in the world as there are myths. Intrepid minds explore the unusual and enables us all to cope with the ways of the world debunking myths and deconstructing parables. They keep the nay-sayers at bay to seize upon every opportunity to make life pleasant for mortals.
Such an opportunity came in the life of Dr Harunur Rashid when a patient by the name of Sayem came to him and he seized the opportunity with alacrity. He was not an ordinary patient. He was young but infirm, he had a rare disease and his life was on the brink. Mere survival for him was a luxury while all other dreams of life were absolute taboos, such as the dream of becoming a father. But he overcame the hurdles and added many, many years to his life and became a father--thanks to Maj Gen Prof Harunur Rashid: a soldier, a doctor, a patriarch.
"I was fighting for Sayem for over 19 years. At one stage I was his only companion. His mother handed over Sayem to me to treat him. She had full confidence and belief in me, she confided," said Gen Harun.
Shah Mahmud Sayem, 44, was born in 1971 with Exstrophy- Epispadias complex and bilateral inguinal hernia, which made him socially isolated and his father died in 1971 War of Liberation.
Exstrophy- Epispadias Complex (EEC) is a rare defect that is present at birth (congenital). It is located at the opening of the urethra. In this condition, the urethra does not develop into a full tube. The urine exits the body from the wrong place. Usually about 10 per cent of such cases may become father after surgery.
Sayem visited a lot of doctors in the country and abroad, but couldn't get rid of the disease. In 1996, Maj Gen Prof KM Siraj Jinnat (Retd) referred him to his student Prof Harun.
Prof Harun got a letter from his teacher, which reads, "Young doctor, treat the young patient." And till then Sayem was under treatment of Prof Harun, was cured, got married and became father of two daughters.
Prof Harun, serving in Armed Forces for 36 years, was awarded 'Asir Memorial Gold Medal' for his outstanding contribution in surgery recently for Sayem's case in 13th International Surgical Congress and SAARC Surgical Congress jointly organized by Society of Surgeons of Bangladesh and the SAARC Surgical Care Society, on December 5 at Bangabandhu Inter-national Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka.
Consultant to Armed Forces Surgeon General and its Chief Urologist Prof Harunur Rahid got the prize for the first time in Armed Forces and 10th in the country.
Prof Harun started treatment in 1996 when Sayem was 25 years old and looked handsome.
Before the surgery in 1997, I took time to study and research, I feel proud that now Sayem has two daughters," said Prof Harun.
Prof Harun discussed the case in an International Surgical Congress and recommendations were made for surgery where there will be no chance for the patient to be a father. The surgeon's intension was to make him a father - of course, that was a great challenge.
He didn't agree with the opinion of his peers and reviewed all available literature for about six months. At the end, a detailed a plan of the surgery was made and Sayem was operated upon for about fifteen hours in Ayesha Memorial Hospital, Dhaka on August 9, 1997. He recovered well and after three months semen analysis revealed presence of healthy sperms.
Gen Harun pressed him to get married but he refused on the plea that no girl will accept him as a husband after the surgery. After continuous motivation he agreed and found a girl who accepted him fully knowing about the possible consequences.
The surgeon interviewed the girl who expressed her strong desire to marry Sayeem. They tied the knot on July 17, 2000, and had their first baby girl on May 7, 2003.
Sayeem again got sick due to obstruction of the left kidney due to stone and infection. An emergency surgery was performed in Central Hospital in 2007 for about eleven hours. Again he recovered well and had the second baby on June 9, 2011. This is the first documented case in Bangladesh of having child after such a complicated surgery. This case was presented in the International Surgical Congress at home and abroad.
Gradually his condition was deteriorating due to stone in both kidneys, high blood pressure, chronic renal failure and repeated urinary tract infections. Percutaneous Nephro-Lithotomy (PCNL) was performed on the left sided on June 28, 2015 in Lab Aid Specialized Hospital.
He developed para-stomal hernia that got obstructed off and on, and had complications one after another. He was on haemodialysis and ventilator on several occasions in CMH, Dhaka as an academic case and all possible measures were taken for his treatment but he died on December 23, 2015 leaving behind his wife and two beautiful girls.
Only 10 per cent of such patients may become father as per literature. Sayeem is the first documented case in Bangladesh and probably the 29th case in the world as per medical research.
Prof Harun was born on 21 June 1955 and joined in Bangladesh Armed Forces in 1980 after completing MBBS. From then on, he took higher degrees from England, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and India. The other awardees of 'Icon of Surgeons' are Prof Golam Rasul from Bangladesh, Dr Ramprashad Sreshtha from Nepal, Dr Mumtaz Maher from Pakistan, Dr Satish K Shukla from India and St Vhanna Ranatunga from Sri Lanka.
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim handed over the awards and above 900 surgeons from home and abroad and delegations from all SAARC countries except Afghanistan were present at the event.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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