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Sudan Patient’s Experience After Gamma Knife Surgery in India

Sudan Patient’s Experience After Gamma Knife Surgery in India

Abdulla Sulemani - Sudan

Gamma Knife Surgery – Dr. Arun Saroha

Life can throw us challenges anytime, it is up to us to take those challenges in a positive stride and rise above. One such challenge came in my life when my boyfriend was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Thanks to the efforts and genius of Dr. Arun Saroha that he could survive it and got the tag of hero. But I would say the real hero is this doctor in India who helped us in all possible ways and gave my boyfriend the life he is living today.

Yes, it happened with us and here is our story of miraculous recovery from a very big brain tumor. I am Ana and my partner’s name is Abdulla Sulemani, a man in his 60s now. He works, travels and has a great social life just like any other person despite the fact that he was suffering very badly a few years back. We live in Sudan, and the survival in our country is anyway a big challenge. By the grace of God, my partner has done well in his life due to my mining business. He had lost his wife earlier in life before meeting me and we clicked instantly when we connected.

We were always travelling together, going to new destinations every year and talking for hours was our favorite activity. One day when I was in the middle of a conversation, he started fumbling, became almost blank and passed out. I was totally petrified and so was my 10-year-old son. I regained composure and dialed an ambulance quickly. The ambulance came and we were taken to the nearest hospital. Doctor asked me how it happened. I was shaking all this time and told whatever I could about how he fainted and all.

The doctor wrote me certain tests which were CT scan, MRI and a few others. I could sense the impending struggle from this moment only. Why? Because it took me a whole lot of research to find out where these tests could be done in our locality. The hospital where we were was not that equipped. Anyhow, we got those tests done and waited eagerly to see Abdulla back in senses. He came back to sense after about half an hour when some medicines were injected into him. Doctor asked him how he was feeling. He said that he was feeling some pain in the right part of the head and that he was finding difficulty in hearing. Doctor asked him to rest completely and told me which actually was no less than a shocker to me. “He has a brain tumor, the tumor is about 5cm and needs surgery, else it can threaten his life.” He asked me many questions like:

  • Does he have a history of headaches?
  • Does he feel nausea frequently?
  • Does his family have a history of brain tumors?
  • How stressful is his work?
  • Have I noticed any change in his personality over the years?

Frankly speaking, I have known Abdulla only for three years at that time. So, we both waited for Abdulla to gain strength to talk to us. He told the doctor that:

  • He felts headaches some times, but he took headache pills, but a few days back the attack of headache was so severe that he thought his head will burst. He just went to sleep and did not pay much attention to it.
  • He felt like throwing up when that attack of headache came.
  • He told him that his mother had died of a brain tumor.
  • He was into the mining business and the conditions at work kept him on toes.
  • He felt that after his wife died, he had mellowed down a lot and was feeling lost and lonely most of the time before he met me.

After hearing all this, Doctor said, “I need to tell you, Mr. Abdullah, that you have a brain tumor. I need you to be very strong and courageous.” We were certainly devastated and had no clue what could be done. We asked the doctor what the best solution would be for us. He said, “I suggest you go to India to get this surgery done.” He explained to us, “It is done through a service called medical tourism. Many people from Africa, Russia, Australia and other parts of the world have opted for medical tourism to get this kind of complicated surgery done in India.” He said that he knew how primitive medical services were in our country and Abdul needed advanced care undoubtedly. He gave us the number of a medical tourism company. The company was Dheeraj Bojwani- a Medical Service provider.

Convinced by the idea of getting the surgery done in India, we called up Dheeraj Bojwani Consultant number. A very warm person answered our call promptly. He transferred the call to a coordinator, who was a lady. She was very polite and professional and asked us why we were calling. We told her about Abdulla’s condition and asked her:

  • What Dheeraj Bojwani Consultant does to help people like us?
  • Which doctors are available for the surgery at the latest?
  • How soon can we fly down to India and come back?
  • Was there any medication available for the same instead of surgery?

She listened to our questions very attentively and assured us that this is what their code of service was – to provide the best treatment to people at affordable rates from the best Indian doctors at the best hospitals. She explained to us that:

  • Dheeraj Bojwani Consultant is one of the Most Reputed Medical Tourism Companies. Medical tourism in India means coming to India for treatment. The company handles all the aspects related to getting treatment in India including doctor, hospital, hotel stay, intracity transfers, travel visa for two people (patient and companion) and others.
  • The best neurosurgeons will be handling our case. The list of impaneled doctors will be provided to us from which we would be picking a doctor.
  • Medical visa and doctor appointments etc. are arranged on priority, the process will take around a month or more depending upon the doctor and our availability.
  • She also told us that our going back etc. will depend upon the kind of surgery suggested or if there is any other alternative available.

She asked us to share the reports over an email ID which she asked us to jot down. We diligently noted it. Abdullah said to her, “ Madam, I am feeling as if a time bomb is ticking inside my head. I want treatment at the earliest.” She said, “I understand. It all shall be fine, you will be ok, please don’t worry and take rest.” Her words were very soothing and so, we shared the reports available with us. She told us that she would get back to us in about 4 days’ time.

We eagerly waited for the response from the Dheeraj Bojwani Consultant lady. Meanwhile, I tried to get a lot of information about the brain tumor as well as medical tourism. According to various medical and health websites, the brain tumor is curable. There were radiation therapy treatments also available and that all surgeries did not require going under the knife literally. Abdullah was doing well in all health parameters; otherwise, the only thing that was bugging us was the size of the tumor. Was it cancerous? Since how long had it been there? All these questions were going on in our minds. Finally, we got that much-awaited call from Dheeraj Bojwani Consultant lady.

She first thanked us for being patient and told us that:

  • There were three doctors available the earliest. All have suggested Gamma Knife surgery in India
  • She told us that this surgery was non-invasive in nature. This surgery was suggested because the tumor was big in size and it was the safest alternative available, as per the doctors in India.
  • A medical visa will be done on priority and so she asked us how soon we could arrange to come to India.

We were relieved that there were doctors available in some parts of the world to help us. The very idea of non-invasive surgery relieved us to no end. Dheeraj Bojwani Consultant coordinator had given us the name of the doctors. So, we did small research at our end and tried to find all about those doctors. All were very well-qualified and had done a lot of work in this field. We chose Dr. Arun Saroha top Neurosurgeon in India. He was a neurosurgeon working in a very reputed brain and spinal health hospital in India. His clientele had spoken very kind words about him too.

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So, we shared our choice with our coordinator lady from Dheeraj Bojwani. She congratulated us on choosing Dr. Saroha, Top Neurosurgeons in India and then she shared with us the documents required and the timeline of the process involved. All this information gave us a fair idea of how to prepare for this visit to India. Since the condition was serious according to us, Abdul delegated all the work and focused on the visit. We got the confirmation regarding our travel in about a month’s time. I was allowed to travel with him.

Finally, we landed in India on 28th April 2014. Our hotel was quite near to the airport and there was a dedicated help made available to us by Dheeraj Bojwani Consultant. Their car service was very comfortable and we were at our rooms in no time. All the details about the hotel, car number, helpline number etc. were shared with us in advance and so we never felt lost or in doubt while in a new city. The room was quite cozy and had all the things needed for a brain tumor patient. We were really touched by their way of understanding the gravity of the medical conditions.

Dr. Saroha was available to see us the next day. Our coordinator told us the time at which the car will be at the hotel to pick us up. The help assigned to us reported to us at the said time and asked us how we slept and guided us for food and other things. We, then, went to meet the doctor. The hospital where we were asked to meet was especially for neuro patients and thus, it had all facilities for cases like ours.

The doctor was at his chamber and he greeted us politely. He asked Abdul if he is feeling weak or something and then went on to note various things about his medical history, habits, etc. He had our reports with him using which he explained the condition to us. He told us:

  • The tumor was in the meninges region about 5cm. It is considered a big tumor and so invasive surgery was quite a tricky thing to do.
  • He went on to explain to us what Gamma Knife Surgery in India meant. He shared with us that this surgery involved shrinking of the tumor with the help of radiation therapy. All other brain cells are not exposed much to the radiations, and so, it is considered safe and has high chances of survival.

We had various other questions in mind. We asked him:

  • How about life after surgery?
  • What will be the total time required for surgery?
  • How soon could we go back to our country?
  • Was surgery risky?

He was quite prepared for such questions and so answered all these queries in detail and in a very easy manner. He said:

  • The life after surgery is almost normal provided all suggested medications and post-operation care schedule is followed. He knew our doctor in Sudan and told us to do follow-ups with him regularly.
  • Surgery is a very small procedure and requires 15 minutes to one hour depending upon other vitals of the body.
  • He said that we could fly back within three days after surgery, he also added that the local patients were discharged the very next day. Since we had return journey planned in advance, he suggested us to use that time for rest, follow-ups and to monitor recovery.
  • He shared that he had done gamma knife surgery a lot many times in the past. He also made her meet a person who had recovered from this surgery. He also gave us a tour of rehabilitation centers where people had come for the post-operation exercise, diet therapy, etc.

He counseled us quite transparently and told us all about the risks, outcomes, procedure, after surgery precautions. What he insisted on the most was the fact that this size of the tumor was certainly threatening and so it had to be treated on priority. He also had videos of the surgery which made us quite comfortable about the surgery. He also shared with us:

  • Gamma Knife Surgery in India is preferred as the general surgery is too risky to handle a tumor of such size.
  • Since it is non-invasive in nature, it requires very less recovery time
  • Standard surgery is also not advisable especially when you are suffering from some infections or are in a fragile state.

All felt quite in control and we all prayed for the best. He gave us a list of few tests and a CT scan of the brain which he needed before surgery. And gave us the next day as the date for surgery.

The surgery started well on time, and it did not even require Abdul to go under anesthesia. He later shared that the doctor was quite calm and talked to him occasionally during the Radiation Therapy to ensure that I was not feeling any kind of discomfort. The whole procedure just took about 20 minutes. The surgery care staff took over quite smoothly and moved him to a well-equipped neuro ward. Abdul was kept under observation for full one day. The doctor came personally in the evening to know about whereabouts. He also asked to walk, to hold certain things and also asked if Abdul had any problem with eating, drinking, gulping, etc.

We exchanged phone numbers and he also told us that he knew our doctor in Sudan. So, he asked us to make our doctor talk to him. He shared a detailed list of dos and don’ts to follow after surgery and asked us to be very regular with medicine.

We are a happy family today as we speak. I married Abdullah, as we finally realized the preciousness of togetherness and bonding in life. I am his happy wife now and can safely say that India is the best place to get the surgery done. The sincerity of Dr. Arun, his staff and the best support of Dheeraj Bojwani- a Medical Service provider gave us the life we are living today. I genuinely recommend medical tourism in India. It certainly saves lives and lots of your money too!

Thank You
Abdulla Sulemani from Sudan


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