Dr. Shah came to US in 1956 from Karachi when he was just a college kid. He finished his college degree and then obtained a Ph.D. in toxicology and joined the University as a faculty member. He then got married but not kids. He lived his American dream life and got retirement. His wife died few years ago and left him alone. He had many extended family members living in other parts of US but had no connection.
Few years ago, he got dementia and lost his memory and was put into a nursing home. The nursing home is near my home and I pass through it every day but had no idea that a Pakistani patient is living there for many years and no family member is taking care of him.
Few days ago, he got pneumonia and went to critical condition. The nursing home got worried that if he passes away then who will take care of his burial process in a Muslim tradition.
They dug into his file and find a name from his extended family. The found her phone and called her. She happened to be a cousin of my friend who used to work with me.
My friend called me and told me the whole story. I went to nursing home and found Dr. Shah, a 78 years old person who came to US in 1958, lived a probably good life is taking his last breaths without family members around him.
His extended family member also came for a day and we did all the paper work and I got the permission to take care of his burial when the time comes.
Dr. Shah is taking his last breaths and Dr. Qamar is waiting for call from nursing home.
One day Dr. Qamar might be taking his last breaths and some Dr. Shah would be waiting for a call from a nursing home if Dr. Qamar is lucky.
Written by : Shahid Qamar