An article in YPO about our experience.
Shahzad from YPO London had just landed at London’s Heathrow airport from Houston, Texas, when his wife, still in Houston with his two girls on an extended vacation during a school break, informed him their 3-year-old daughter Zaria was suffering from severe stomachaches. A few hours later, hearing that the paediatrician advised them to go straight to Texas Children’s Hospital based on suspicious blood test results, he was on a plane back to Houston.
Just before boarding, he called a WPO member and business partner who recommended he connect with YPO’s (Member to Member Exchange) M2Mx. It was Shahzad’s first time using M2Mx and not knowing much about it, he entered a simple post that his wife, Madiha, was by herself at Texas Children’s and that the doctor was saying his daughter may have Leukaemia. He also included Madiha’s contact details.
Twenty minutes later, he got a call from a member who had a similar experience in Houston while Madiha started getting more calls from YPO and WPO members living in the Houston area, with offers of support including babysitting their older daughter, and sending food for the family. By the time he landed in Houston, there were more calls and emails from his M2Mx post, including from a board member of the hospital who immediately put the family in touch with the chief surgeon of the hospital.
The feedback not only reassured Shahzad and Madiha that medically Zaria was getting the best care possible, but revealed a level of generosity and compassion they never expected. “We were in awe. People we don’t know in a strange land offering to help, send us food, take care of our daughter. I felt very humbled. The emails and support continued on a daily basis for the whole month that we were there.”
YPO and WPO London and Mayfair members reached out to share similar experiences and put Shahzad in touch with top consultants in the U.K. in order to transfer the case back to a hospital near their home. With the help of these connections, the case was transferred and the family is back after Zaria completed the initial induction treatment. She is responding well and the cancer is in remission, but the treatment will continue for two more years.
“We count ourselves lucky in many ways. First, to not only have gotten diagnosed in Houston and treated in the best children’s hospital in the world, but also because of the support we got from the global network that YPO represents. It’s definitely the most powerful YPO experience I have ever had,” says Shahzad. “I have become a great fan of M2Mx and want to give back. If anyone sends a similar post, if I can, I will be the first one in the hospital for them.”
It has been six months since Zaria started her treatment. She is in remission and doing well, her treatment will continue till November 2016. All I have is gratitude for fellow YPOer’s, Doctors at Texas Children Hospital, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital.