Ashraf Dawood from Oman has been living with Parkinson’s for 7 years, but few people who meet him would actually know that he is. When the 68-year-old retired town planner puts on his running shoes, for his daily walk, his vitality shines above all else.
Ashraf’s symptoms before diagnosis were what many describe as classic Parkinson’s – tremors and loss of fine motor skills. However, it was when the toe on his left shoe was being worn away because of foot drag that he knew something serious was happening to his body. With interventions from his then physiotherapist and his own research online, he had a reasonable idea that he had Parkinson’s before visiting for confirmation at the neurologist.
Ashraf underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) five years ago to try to improve his health when the usual medication for Parkinson’s became inconsistent in relieving his symptoms. “I was fed-up with my progress, so the DBS was a way to possibly improve my condition as well as satisfy my gadget curiosity”, says a smiling Ashraf.
The long therapies paid off, as he immediately lost the tremor and people noticed that he was brighter in the face, as a result of losing what is often referred to as the ‘Parkinson’s mask’. However, after four years of being ‘medication-free’ family members began noticing those telltale signs once again. His 31-year-old son, Ahmed Ashraf recalls the day when symptoms began to reappear, “Lifting objects had become a challenge; the whole experience felt like three steps forward two steps back.”
It was at this point that Ahmed decided to look for a recognized hospital where he could get his father evaluated under the supervision of a specialist. “Going through the internet, there were many best hospital for Parkinson's disease in India available that at first, I was quite confused,” says Ahmed. With a plethora of options available, finding the right option almost felt like finding a needle in a haystack. “We decided to break our search down a bit further. We first decided to choose a country. India seemed like a good option because of the quality of healthcare and the affordability option that it promised. Thailand was our second option, but in the end it would have to be India.”
Ahmed recalled a story about a patient from Oman who had suffered similar health challenges. “During my days searching for hospitals in India, I had read about this lady who had travelled to India for medical treatment. The lady also happened to be from Oman. This was truly inspirational.” The website where he encountered this story was Vaidam.
After careful consideration, Ahmed called Vaidam’s patient relations team. Considering their case in detail, the patient relations execute gave Ahmed various options to choose from. “We decided to get the evaluation done at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital because their reviews seemed very good. People had good things to say about the doctors being highly qualified and the infrastructure which was very impressive indeed.” Ahmed chose best Parkinson specialist doctor in India, Dr Mohit Bhatt, to carry out the evaluation on his father.
After a 1 week stay in Mumbai, post evaluation, both Ahmed and Ashraf returned to their home country. “We are extremely satisfied with the evaluation and the diagnosis given by Dr Bhatt.” Having received the correct diagnosis, the father-son duo are finally relieved to have found the right doctor. “We will be back post Ramadan for further round of tests and medical evaluations, but for now we just focus on getting better,” says Ashraf.
We wish Ashraf all the best for future evaluations and speedy recovery; and are happy that we could be a part of his joyful tale.