“ Life is what happens to us while we are busy planning for it,” said Dr Zubair Shanib Bhat, 37, a resident of Chana pora in Srinagar. A teacher at SKIMS, Dr Bhat was detected with a brain and neurological disease some years ago and is still fighting it.
On a cold grey autumn morning, he packs his bags to board a flight to PGIMER, Chandigarh to undergo radiotherapy as his brain tumour shows signs of recurrence after four years of surgery. A Senior Resident at SKIMS, Immunology and Molecular Medicine, he teaches microbiology to medical students.
Dr Bhat’s struggle began when his father went jobless for a long time and he was brought up by his mother, a teacher at one of the private schools in Srinagar. He expected his family’s struggle to end when his father found employment in J&K Bank but was unaware of the subsequent shocks life had in store for him and his family. Bhat was the last one to get married among his siblings elder brother and sister - as he was pre-occupied with securing his career and pursuing research.
The plans for life ceased to make sense for him when on February 28, 2013 he suddenly lost his consciousness. When he regained his consciousness at a hospital, he was diagnosed with first motor focal epilepsy seizure episode of the left side of the body by a doctor.
Bhat was in Jammu along with his friends, pursuing PhD at CSIR, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), and was supposed to undergo mandatory training at Jammu laboratory. Suddenly, he felt a tingling painful sensation in his left hand as if blade-slit his wrist and soon he fell unconscious. “I thought it is the end of my life and started reciting Kalimah but was not able to recite it,” he said.
The shock of being detected with sudden epilepsy distressed his family and his worried elder brother landed in Jammu the following day.
Soon Dr Bhat consulted renowned Kashmiri neurologist, Dr Susheel Razdan in Jammu. He was asked to undergo specific tests. Subsequently, he consulted another neurologist, who, according to Bhat, kept him and his family in dark by wrong diagnoses, keeping him on antibacterial medicine for three years.
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