In Memory of my beautiful Grandma, Najma Ehsan
Hi my name is Daniel Ehsan. I am 11 years old and currently in my final year in Primary school.
I know my story below may seem long but it would mean a lot to me if you could read the whole thing as you will then understand why this is so important to me and to other people who go through the same or worse.
For the past 3 years, my grandmother, Najma Ehsan (whom I call Daado Ammi), suffered from a horrible disease called Parkinsons which made her bones rigid and caused her hands and legs to tremor meaning she couldn’t walk more than a few metres, and became dependant on family to help her throughout the day. Ammi is my Dad’s mum, whom he loved her very very much and misses every single day.
In December 2016, she was admitted into King George hospital
with excessive swelling on her feet which began restricting her more than usual. Usually, she could walk to the toilet herself as long as someone supported her, but her feet were so sore and looked like balloons. So she had to go to King George Hospital. After a few days, she came home with a course of antibiotics, but unfortunately she went back into hospital again on January 4th 2017. This time it was because her stomach was very swollen and kept getting bigger. Ammi was very scared and couldn’t understand what was going on. All the doctors and nurses were so kind and did what they could to help her.
The swelling of her tummy was due to Ascites, which meant that now she was being diagnosed as having Liver disease too. The doctors tried their best to give her medication to make her better, but sadly the medicine was not working as we hoped. The doctors told my parents that because of Ammi's Parkinsons, and arthritis, and the state she was in, they couldn’t even attempt a liver transplant for her, she was too fragile and wouldn’t survive the Operation. They said they were sorry but they couldn’t do anything more for her. We were told she only had 3-6 months to live…
We were all extremely devastated. I remember sitting at the foot of my Ammi’s bed in the Gentian Ward and the doctor came to give his diagnosis. The adults quickly signalled to the doctor not to say anything in front of Ammi. So they left us and went into the corridor to talk; I didn’t think anything of it at the time. However when they all walked back in, looking serious and shocked, I knew something was wrong. It was later that evening when I overheard my parents talking about it in the kitchen and then I realised that Ammi was seriously ill. I asked my mum if everything was ok and she then told me that Ammi wasn’t going to get better and that she needed my help in supporting my dad. I was heartbroken and I couldn’t believe it; I went into another room to cry alone. Late in the evening, we went back home only to be awaken by my mum at 2am saying that Ammi was coughing out blood and I had to pack some clothes. Straight away, I went to find my dad and found him on the bed crying. I hugged him and kissed his forehead just like he does to me when I am sad; I said it would be alright, I didn’t know what else to say. I was scared too but I tried not to show it.
I remember when we were staying there, I had a swimming competition. Dad took me to the Gala because mum was staying that night with
Ammi at the hospital. Ammi called me at 7am to wish me luck from her hospital bed. She told me that she was proud of me, that she believed in me and knew that I would always do well. I came home that day with a medal and I video-called her to tell her; she was so happy. That evening, I went to see her and she said to me that she wanted me to endeavour to be a doctor one day. She said she wouldn’t be alive to see that day, but she wanted me to find a cure for her illness. That was the first and only time that she acknowledged in front of me that she knew she wasn’t going to get better. Despite everyone trying to stay positive around her and not tell her, she knew. My Ammi was being brave and strong, I wish now that I could have told her I’m proud of her for being so brave.
On Thursday 16th of February, Ammi was sent home from the hospital with Palliative care. Mum had spoken to my head teacher at school and said we needed to stay in East London as we didn’t know how much
longer she had left. Mr Mills and Mrs Shasha, who are Head teachers of mine and my brother’s school, both agreed to give us some time off from school. I stayed at my cousin’s house who lived a few minutes away from Ammi’s house. Mum, Dad and my dad’s siblings, all looked after Ammi 24/7. When I was allowed to come over; when Mum would let me as sometimes Ammi wasn't in a good way, we would sit next to Ammi and either pray for her or keep her company by talking to her, kissing her hand, telling her we loved her. Everyone who was looking after her; my parents, aunts and uncles all looked tired and sad but kept trying to stay positive. I would see them caring for Ammi, feeding her, combing her hair, cleaning her. I would always see tears in their eyes and watched as they comforted each other and Grandad.
Sadly she passed away at 4:50pm on Wednesday 1st March 2017 at the young age of 66. I wasn’t there at the time, we came earlier in the day but Mum told us that it wasn’t the right time as Ammi wasn’t feeling
well but then my uncle came to get us later that day. When we got to the house, they told us that she had passed away. Hearing that she had passed away, I was angry and upset because no one let me say good bye whilst she was alive. Mum said they were trying to protect me and Ammi wouldn’t have wanted us to see her like that. She said I could still say bye as Ammi can still see and hear me. I remember it was National School Offers Day that day. I had gotten into a Grammar School and I wanted to tell her. I used to ask her to pray for me to get into a Grammar school and she always did. I walked into the room, she looked so peaceful, sleeping. I kissed her and said sorry for not being there earlier. I whispered into her ear that I had got a place at Grammar School and I would become a doctor for her and do well in life. I made her that promise and I hope she heard me. I am going to try and keep that promise, I am going to try my best.
I have decided to raise some money to donate to King George and Queens’s hospital. The staff at these hospitals do a phenomenal job and are so compassionate and caring. From the cleaners to the doctors, everyone always came to ask about our Ammi. But there is not always enough money available to look after these hospitals. So in memory of my lovely Ammi I would like to try and do my bit in helping to give back. I would love it if you could all kindly sponsor me. I’ve decided to do a 5K Swimathon (which is 200 lengths of a 25m pool!) on Saturday 1stJuly at Hillingdon Fusion Leisure Centre. Although I swim regularly for
Hillingdon Swimming Club, I have actually never swam anywhere near 5k before so it will be a tough challenge; but one which will find very rewarding I hope (Insha Allah, God willing).
With Ammi’s blessings and the support of my family, I am hoping to raise £2000 for this great cause. In my heart I want to raise
£100,000 but my mum says let’s start with £2000 and see how it goes. Please sponsor me, any amount big or small counts, but it would be brilliant if you could all help me smash this target. My Ammi would be cheering me on telling me I could achieve anything I put my mind to. I would like to thank all my family,The doctors and nurses at King George Hospital, The staff at Hillingdon Fusion Leisure Centre, My Swimming coach Lin Styles and Linda Head at the King George and Queens Charity Trust for their help and support.
So now that I have said what I needed to say I hope you can all understand my need to do this? I have 3 more lovely Grandparents
and no one knows when they will have their family member needing a hospital.
Please donate to help other people who are in the same predicament as my grandma and our family was in. Please sponsor me so that together we can in some way help make people’s final moments as peaceful and comfortable as possible.
Thank you for reading my story, Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.