She was their hopes and aspirations for the future. They had a strong belief that she would change the lot of the poor family someday. Clinging to the belief, they started dreaming -- the dream of a better future. When the very dream was about to come true, it had been shattered in such a way that left the whole family devastated.
Shahinur Begum was talking to this correspondent about the dream of the family centring on her daughter, Khadiza Akhter Sheuly.
With just five days remaining to attend her final viva voce, Khadiza, a final year BDS student of Rangpur Medical College, got critically injured in a road mishap in Rangpur on February 27. The tragedy left her two legs, one hand and a portion of another hand paralysed. Her backbone was also damaged severely.
“…We never had enjoyed a good meal during Eid… never bought good clothes in celebrations,” said Shahinur, while wiping off tears from her cheek.
"When the fortune was about to smile on us, the tragedy robbed us of happiness…," the sobbing mother could not finish the sentence.
Khadiza was scheduled to attend the viva exam on March 4. On February 27, she was going to her hostel riding a battery-run auto-rickshaw along with some friends after purchasing study materials from a market.
At one point, her scarf got entangled with the wheel of the three-wheeler's engine, said Abdullah al Mamun, one of her classmates. As result, she felt a sudden pull on her neck, damaging her spinal cord severely.
She was rushed to Rangpur Medical College Hospital immediately. The next day, February 28, she was referred to the National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital (NINH) in Dhaka. Her condition was so fragile that she had to be flown in by an air ambulance.
Khadiza has recently been moved to High Definition Unit from the Intensive Care Unit at the NINH -- doctors see it a sign of improvement.
Her condition has improved, said Habibur Rahman, deputy director of the NINH.
“We hope she will get well… but it will take time,” he added.
Meanwhile, her treatment has been taking a heavy toll on the family run by her father, Ali Hossen Mallik, a private car driver in the capital's Uttara.
Ever since the accident, the family has been struggling to arrange money for her treatment. Many people and institutions, relatives came forward with help.
Around Tk 15 lakh has already been spent, said Khadiza's mother Shahinur.
“Doctors told us that she would have to get physiotherapy, probably for more than one year. We cannot bear the cost all by ourselves…,” Shahinur said.
The mother urged the well-off section of the society to come forward to help her daughter's treatment.
For the last couple of months, the once-energetic would-be doctor has been lying on a hospital bed, unable to move. The parents and her two younger sisters are counting days until they can take her home.
“All that mattered to us once was her success… Now, we want to see her recover and live…nothing else,” added the mother.