I had read a great deal on Facebook about trafficking in human organs here in Egypt. I was quite interested especially when it was announced that many such gangs have been caught. But after a few times, I used to just skim through such news, shaking my head about the horror. Until this horror touched close to home.
I have two gardeners who come from one of the poorest areas in Upper Egypt. Both are illiterate, yet over the years they have managed to learn a great deal about taking care of the garden, the orchard and the kitchen garden, as well as the swimming pool. This shows a certain level of intelligence that enables them to assimilate all the needed information without reference to any written material to help them.
The elder of the two had told me that his younger son had fallen victim to virus C and he was desperate. Fortunately the government had started a project to eradicate this debilitating disease by 2018. The son was enrolled in the program and, thank God, was fully cured. So when that same gardener came a few days ago to tell me that his younger son was sick again I thought that it was a recurrence of virus C. No, this time it was something else. He said that he had horrendous pain and when they went to the doctor he diagnosed something wrong with the kidneys. The father of the boy told me that the doctor recommended dialysis! I was taken aback and told him that once he started him on dialysis it would go on for the rest of his life. I recommended that he consult another doctor and get a second opinion.
A few days later my gardener came back with a report about his son’s health. He said the second doctor they consulted recommended the removal of the kidney. I was stunned! I told him to immediately bring the boy over to Cairo, with all the medical investigations he had undergone there and I would take him to my own kidney doctor. I set up an appointment with the doctor and waited the arrival of the boy.
A couple of days later the boy arrived but with no medical documentation of any kind pertaining to his case. When I asked him where his analyses results and ultrasounds were, he said that the doctors at the hospital said that they had sent his whole file to Cairo to get approval for the operation to be done for free! My heart dropped at hearing that. The whole situation was looking more and more suspicious, but I did not want to say anything till after going to my doctor and getting an initial feedback.
The following day we went to the doctor who examined him but mainly asked him about his symptoms. He then requested a battery of tests and an ultrasound to see what was going on with the boy. For the next two days we were running around getting those tests done. When all were ready I sent them to the doctor who immediately called me back. He said he was totally shocked because the only thing wrong with the boy’s kidney was a somewhat large stone. Otherwise he was perfectly healthy and he could not see any reason why either dialysis or removal of the kidney were ever suggested. It was then that I asked him if he suspected that this boy might have been targeted for an organ removal by one of those gangs trafficking in human organs, and the doctor concurred with my suspicions.
I then asked the doctor what should be done about the stone and he said it was big enough to need a procedure of fragmentation by laser (the lay language that I understood) which would necessitate an overnight stay at the hospital. I agreed with the doctor about the surgeon who would undertake this operation and the fees and we set it up for next week.
The boy wanted to go back home for his military discharge papers, but he will be coming back on Saturday, and hopefully by mid week we should have the procedure done.
I am very worried about the boy, scared that he might suffer a kidney attack, and if these unscrupulous people get their hands on him they are quite capable of stealing his kidney on the pretext that they were “treating” him.
I also wonder how many other families fell victim to this trick and how many organs they have stolen.
This is one of the most despicable crimes ever when supposedly educated people prey on the poor and the ignorant robbing them of their only asset, their health.
24 August 2016