A tweet to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had recently got a Pakistani woman a visa to travel to India for a liver transplant. Her son, who has been spending anxious days in Faisalabad, will get to meet her after he again tweeted to Swaraj for help, and the minister responded with an affirmative.
On October 26, Fahad Ijaz tagged the minister and wrote in a Twitter post, “For God’s sake, please help me. My mother is admitted to Fortis Noida. She is unwell. Please give me visa.” The tweet got a reply from the minister in less than eight hours. “You will get a visa to see your ailing mother,” Sushma tweeted at 5.44 am on October 27.
Nearly two weeks earlier, his 54-year-old mother Farzana was granted a visa for a liver transplant at a private hospital in Noida. Fahad’s father Ijaz, donor Mohammad Shahbaz and two attendants have also issued a visa after Fahad had first tweeted for help on October 14. All four are currently at Fortis Hospital.
As per procedure, a report from a local hospital in the country from where the patient belongs to is sent to the hospital in the country where the surgery is supposed to take place. If the surgery is to be conducted in India, the hospital in India has to send a report to the Indian high commission in the patient’s country. The high commission conducts its own inquiry at the local level after which a visa is issued. Accordingly, Farzana, Ijaz and the attendants got visas.
But things got complicated for the family because Ijaz has health issues too. Fahad said his father is a cardiac patient. “He is not keeping well. There are many things to be done for a patient and I want to help him with the same,” Fahad told TOI over the phone from Pakistan.
After the minister’s promise for help, officials from Fortis got in touch with him the same day, Fahad said. “Dear Mr Ijaz, please provide your contact details and our representative will reach out to you at the earliest with regards to your mother’s health,” Fortis Healthcare wrote.
Since four people have already been granted visa, the hospital authorities are now in the process of completing the verification process for Fahad. A medical visa is usually granted to three or four people, including attendants. “Since the visa norms became tighter, we have to be cautious about the credentials of a visa applicant,” said an official.
A spokesperson for Fortis told TOI that Farzana needs a transplant. “A committee of doctors will decide about the date and timing of the transplant,” the spokesperson said.