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After Hardship Comes Ease - Yasir Akram

After Hardship Comes Ease - Yasir Akram

Issue 78 March 2011

After his return from Pakistan in 2008, Yasir Akram found himself constantly out of breath, suffering from exhaustion and struggling to get out of bed. After many failed attempts at diagnosis, an X-ray revealed he was suffering from heart failure.


At the start of 2008, I returned from Pakistan where I had got married. We were still in the process of sorting out my wife’s visa, so she decided to stay out there for a while longer.

 Upon my return to England, I found myself starting to feel weaker during my work shifts. At the time, I was working at a local supermarket and everyday tasks like stacking shelves and stock-taking became really difficult. Pretty soon I was taking time off work on a regular basis as I didn’t have the strength or the energy to go in.

 I began to experience really sharp, abdominal pain and kept vomiting, so the doctor prescribed me some antibiotics to help relieve this. He was at amiss as to what exactly the problem was, but I presume he must have assumed it was a virus or a stomach bug that kept reoccurring. But no matter what he tried, the pain just wouldn’t settle and I kept going back.  In the end, the doctor got really frustrated with me because he couldn’t identify the cause.

 One night, the pain in my stomach became unbearable and  my family had to call an ambulance. I was taken to A&E, where doctors ran tests upon tests, but everything came out fine and I was sent home after a gruelling, sleepless night. By then, the pain had spread across my whole body. In addition, I felt really confused about my situation.
Still feeling unsure, I decided to seek a second opinion and after performing more tests and an X-ray, doctors at a local clinic found that I was in heart failure. My heart had increased in size and because of my body’s reaction to it, I began to experience strange sensations; loss of feeling, fatigue and extreme pain.

 After a week, I was transferred to the cardiac department for further tests. There they found that my heart rate was 17% of the normal level. I then had a balloon pump put in to assist my heart.  Due to this, I had to stay lying down on my bed, and taking my prescribed tablets proved to be particularly painful.

 After performing an angiogram, the doctors determined that I needed a heart transplant. It was a relief to finally find out what was wrong. I was transferred to another hospital and put on the transplant list, but the nurses had warned me that it could take anything up to two years for a match to be found. Despite this, I never felt resigned to the fact that I was literally counting down the time I had left. I had complete faith in God that I would persevere.

 Whilst I was in hospital, my grandmother came to visit and brought some water with her. She told me to take a sip, as she had recited some prayers over it. Four hours after drinking it, the nurse came to tell me that they had found a potential heart.

 I felt so relieved at that moment when I heard; it was as if God had given me a second chance at life.
On the way to the operating room, the doctors explained the procedure to me and I was put under anaesthetic. The operation was successful and I woke up in ICU with a pipe in my mouth. The days after that were like building my life from scratch; one by one, I was unplugged from the machines that I had been hooked up to for weeks. I began to learn how to walk again with the help of a physiotherapist.  At the start I could hardly balance, but I moved on to being able to do a circuit of the ward.

 After just over a month, I was finally discharged. At first, home felt very different as I had been away so long. A few weeks after I had nearly recovered from my ordeal, I caught tuberculosis from my brother. This was even more painful than what I had already gone through. I was back in the hospital, when I thought that I had already spent more than enough time there. After more treatment and even more drugs, I eventually began to feel like my old self again.

 Looking back on what I have gone through, it is as if God has given me two extra chances at life. It honestly feels like it’s a miracle that I’m still living. I’ve learnt not to delay things; it’s best to just get things done, as who knows whether we’ll still be here tomorrow.

 Some people ask whether I find it weird to have someone else’s heart in my body. But I’ve never seen it that way; to me, it’s a gift from God. As the verse in Surah Rahman goes, “Which of your Lord’s favours can you deny?” (55:13). l

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1 Comment


Kelli Sayfullah

22 Mar 11, 17:12

SubhanAllah amazing story!

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