We often hear of news on CNN and BBC of stories of courage and bravery from kids in the West. The sad truth is that we too in Pakistan have extraordinary tales to tell of bravery and honor but thanks to our media never get to the TV screen.
This story that I am about to share should have been blown out of proportion, should have received international recognition but sadly the way our system works, Pakistan’s image in the west as well as locally always remains a negative one and tales of pride like this one never get out too far.
I want to celebrate a 16 year old boy, Arsalan from Lahore who had a month before his death told his mother that if he died, he would want his organs donated. A Grade 10 student who had no knowledge of what awaited him had a hope to help someone else. Approximately a month after this conversation with his mother, he was in a tragic car accident and went into a coma on August 13th 2011, during Ramadhan.
At the same time, there was a 40 year old man from Sialkot who was in desperate need of a liver transplant. Arsalan’s parents donated his liver to save this man’s life. This was the first liver transplant carried out by Pakistani doctors. The previous three liver transplants in Pakistan had been carried out by foreign doctors. The 12 hour surgery was a success. Arsalan died later that night.
A 16 year old boy saves the life of a 40 year old man. We live in a selfish world where everyone has least concern of others. To this world, Arsalan was a rare gem. The usual 16 year old boys are busy with their X Box 360s and mobile text messages. This boy was unique; he wanted to make a difference and he did.
I hope that what Arsalan did is something others can do as well… to have the strength and determination to bring change. Despite the fact that Arsalan has received recognition of bravery from several top politicians, his story is still not OUT there. Sadly, this is something that happens to so many of our extraordinary youth.
Arsalan, you are the pride of Pakistan! I salute thee! You made a difference, it’s time we did too! Thank you my little champ!
By Jewairia Q.
Pakistan Zindabad Youth Magazine