Songjog, doctor give Rimu a new lease of life

While Taslima Siddika Rimu was a 3rd year student of livestock and veterinary medicine at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science & Technology University, it was diagnosed that one of the valves of her heart was not functioning. The condition is called `Epstein’s Anomaly’ in medical terms. As her health condition started deteriorating, she took treatment first at Coxs’ bBzar Sadar hospital and later some other hospitals in Dhaka.

Rimu’s family was in a dilemma about her illness as the surgery was a critical one according to physicians. Though her friends helped raise funds for treatment, the money was insufficient. As a result, her family struggled to pay the hospital bills.

At the time, Songjog’ group came forward extending its helping hands as ‘Messiah’.Songjog: Connecting People’ is a Facebook-based platform, which is run by volunteers from various academic and professional backgrounds. `Songjog Plasma and Blood Donation team’, one of their core units, sought help from their members in home and abroad to raise funds for Rimu’s treatment.

Some volunteer doctors from this Facebook group also searched for appropriate surgeons for Rimu. Knowing the risks and complexities of her condition, several hospitals refused to admit her. At that point, senior cardiac surgeon Samir Azam, working at Mirpur Al Helal Hospital, came forward and admitted her at his hospital.

Dr Samir and his team performed a six-hour-long operation on Rimu on September 7 and replaced the damaged valve. He did not charge for the surgery.  Rimu is recovering well at home.  Dr  Samir  said, “Her health condition was deteriorating. It was a wise decision to run the surgery right away. She is better now. Songjog did a good job by organizing it.”

A core team member of Songjog group, Dr. Farzana Nasrin Ena, told few words about the group, “Sometimes, it is difficult for Bangladeshi people to find the right doctors and organize appropriate treatment they need. We have been helping such people in need through our Facebook group since the beginning of COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, we are focused on helping patients who need high-quality treatment but lack money.

We are also working on supplying and delivering oxygen cylinder to patients using our established oxygen bank.” Another moderator of Songjog group, Engineer Mehedi Hasan informed, “Our job is to connect people together. We try to help them as many ways as possible.” He also expressed gratitude to their 24,000 Songjog group members, Songojg Plasma team, and Dr Samir Azam.

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