Muhammad Reazul Islam

I am Reazul Islam (47) from Patuakhali, Bangladesh. Story of my suffering back in 2001. I went through blood tests for an overseas job. Hepatitis B detected; my job cancelled. My psychological strength was totally broken down. I heard that, there is no curative treatment of Hepatitis B virus infection. I was in a fix; would I try to survive or simply wait to accept death. I went abroad for treatment accompanied by my brother, a doctor. He was extremely disheartened knowing my illness. Oral antiviral medication prescribed for me, which was the first time available.

Returned to Bangladesh, joined Galachipa Women’s Degree College as the lecturer & got married. My antivirals stopped, after finding my reports normal in 2005. I lost consciousness first time in 2007 while in the class, which was repeated after 6 months. Developed fluid in my abdomen, diagnosed as liver cirrhosis in 2009. Doctors told my family that there is no fruitful treatment for liver cirrhosis, only to wait for death.

My family was adamant to continue my treatment. My abdominal fluid needed repeated aspiration. Fortunately, came to know that I could only survive by Liver transplant. My brother and sister started to get information about Liver transplant. We were highly disappointed after knowing that Liver transplants need a huge amount of money & related donor. Started to arrange money & looking for the donor.

We came to know that the first successful liver transplant of Bangladesh done at BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka in June 2010.  We met with the head of the liver transplant team. He realized my long-suffering & was highly compassionate towards me. He assured me that he is ready to do everything to make my transplant successful. Told us to arrange a donor as early as possible and not to be worried about the expenditure of the transplant. If we had a suitable donor, he would arrange everything for the transplantation. My self & my family got a real ray of hope for my survival.

Maternal uncle came forward to donate part of his liver as a lifesaving gesture.  My liver transplant done on August 6, 2011 at BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka. I got a new life. Luckily, I am the 2nd successful liver transplant recipient of Bangladesh. Myself & my donor had a wonderful recovery. Thankful to the liver transplant team for their active support & generosity.  

Joined my job as a teacher after six months of the transplant. I had some problems during the last more than ten years post-transplant, which was managed by intervention & minor surgery. I had one child before the liver transplant, by the grace of Almighty I have two more children by this time. I am also studying PhD at an overseas university. Passing reasonably normal life.

Misconceptions leads to discrimination and marginalisation of people living with Hepatitis B infection. Patience, tolerance & support of the family is vital in this long journey of suffering from hepatitis B virus infection.  

Everyone might not be as fortunate as me, I got the best possible support from my family, friends and doctors. It is an awful journey of hepatitis B sufferers. Everyone should know and prevent it by all possible ways.   

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