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Bomb victims of Lahore still desperate for help.


Qaisor Pervez cousin of Wilson Chowdhry survived the bomb blast despite 85% burns.   Most of his teeth shattered and he has lost significant eye performance, yet his recovery is being reported as a miracle. 

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By Mehwish Bhatti

On my most recent visit to Lahore I was shocked to see the state that Christian victims have found themselves in.  Despite the numerous charities that have promised long term support few, if any, are actually providing any real assistance.  

I visited Qaisor Pervez cousin of our Chairman Wilson Chowdhry who was one of the hero security officers who saved parishioners at St James Catholic Church (click here).  Qaisor is in a much better condition now having miraculously recovered from 85% burns and being in a deep coma.  This is exceptionally rare we have been advised, and only a week prior to my visit doctors had sought to terminate his life support due to the family not being able to pay ongoing medical costs. Qaisor was in good mood when I met with him, he said:

"God has given me a new life, one that I will cherish. I was ready to give my life away for the protection of the church, but God has saved me for His purposes.  I love God and will never give Him up as He is faithful to His people."

Qaisor held the arms of one of the bombers  at St James Catholic Church and only survived the explosion due to his colleague's body being between him and the bomber, creating a buffer.  The explosion broke many of his bones, burnt him to within an inch of his life and left him in a coma. He says that he would be willing to be a security officer at the church again to protect his "God's property and people." 

Qaisor has been off work since the attack and is seeking help towards the wages he has lost £200 and will continue to lose for a estimated further 3 months as he recovers.  This amounts to £500 in total required to support loss of wages.  He requires further burns treatment £200 and dental treatment to the amount of £200 to replace lost teeth and repair those salvageable.  He also now requires an uninterrupted electrical system at his home to provide cooling and treatment for his burns, which will cost a further £600, as electricity supply to his home suffers from load shedding (long blackouts a consequence of low energy generation unable to fulfil national demand).

Amir Zahoor was hit in the face and right arm with shrapnel.

Amir Zahoor a Youth leader at the Catholic church described his ordeal as he was refused initial treatment at Lahore General Hospital.  They told him: "Bomb blasts happen every day, it is not something new to be treated or cared for" Amir was hit in the face and right arm by shrapnel in the form of ball bearings that had been inserted into the incendiary device.  
Amir shared his story and told me that he was due to work at a local medical unit on Sunday.  However one of his colleagues contacted him early in the morning asking to swap a Monday shift for Amir's Sunday shift. For Amir this was good news as he wanted to attend church. He finished his shift after exchanging with his friend and went straight to mass at St James Church. On seeing children playing within the church courtyard area he angrily sent them inside the church to attend the service, due to the noise they were making. He had no idea that he would save them from injury or potential death and believes God led him to do this, as he would not normally be so bothered by the noise they were making.

Amir explained that he was away from the main gate when he saw the terrorist dressed in a black Pakistani sharwar suit with sky blue kemise (shirt) enter the courtyard and then start firing.  Amir shouted to parishioners and security to close the church gate and he remembers the mad dash by the successful security team who shut the gate.  However the gunman was accompanied by a suicide bomber who set off his incendiary device strapped to his waist by the gate.  Amir became unconscious at this point. He requires 2 months lost wages and a potential further 2 months off work at £400 and £200 towards medical scar replacement treatment (skin grafting).

Sikander Inyat desperately needs an eye operation

One of the young men on security duty that day Sikander Inyat met with me. He  was involved in the closing of the gate of the church. When the bomb exploded he was hit full in the face by the gate and lost one eye, he also received a fracture to his left leg. He is 27 years old and requests help for insertion of an artificial eye in a medical procedure and laser treatment to rectify sight in remaining functioning eye. He is an only son, his  mother died when he was young and he was looking after his ageing father but has been off work (rickshaw driver) since the attack.   His married sister from Hyderabad is staying with them and has been caring for them for the last two months.  He feels disheartened that he has become a burden for his family and is seeking help towards daily living allowance for a period of 3 months till he is able to re-start work again.  The cost for a replacement eye and an urgent eye operation to salvage his operating eye amounts to £1700.  Sikander also requires £350 for lost wages for an estimated 5 months he will be off work.

Yousaf Masih needs an operation to remove bullets from his arm

Yousaf Masih (41 years) was also within the security team.  He ran towards the gunman during the attack, who shot him twice in his arm, which now bleeds even though two months have passed.  The injuries are very deep and bullets were not removed, as Yousaf could not afford the expense of an operation, so doctors at Lahore General Hospital chose to simply patch over the wound.  He also has ball bearings embedded in his left leg, and he suffered numerous burns around his body.  The hospital no longer provides treatment and have refused to provided necessary painkillers.  Yousaf was working in a factory 'Usman Saeed Garments'. Although  he is not medically fit financial crisis led him to return to work. On reaching the factory he faced criticism from different Muslim people who were mourning for the two Muslim boys killed in post bomb attack riots, despite the fact the men were believed to be gunmen. Despite the huge human capital loss to the church there was no sympathy for his condition or the large of numbers of Christians who lost their lives. Yousaf was fired instantly and asked to leave simply because he is a Christian. He cried that day because he realised he would have no way to feed his three small children. He feels extremely discouraged and said:
"We are living a life similar to stray dogs, Christians are unwanted and abused for their faith and there is little help or support for us."

Yousaf needs help with lost wages estimated at £450 for a period of five months and medical treatment for the removal of the bullets that have been left in his arm costing £300.

Zubaira Francis, pictured on the left, needs surgical removal of ball bearings from her stomach

Zubaira Francis (32 years) is a mother of 6 children. She was in the church courtyard when the bombers exploded their incendiary devices. When the explosion occurred she was hit by the shrapnel attached to the device and ball bearings are still lodged in her stomach. Her husband works in a factory and cannot afford the fees for an operation to safely remove the ball bearings.  They require £200 for this medical treatment.

Adnan Gill (in black T-shirt) requires an operation to remove shrapnel from his left leg and left foot.

Adnan Gill (32 years) worked as a  welder.  He was also in the church courtyard when the bomb attack occurred. Adnan now has ball bearings lodged in his left leg and left foot and requires an operation to remove them.  The cost of the operation will be £200 and he has also suffered 2 months lost wages and expects to be off work for a further two months which will amount to £400.

Shabaz Gill (in white shirt in foreground) needs an operation to remove shrapnel from his back

Shabaz Gill  is 23 years old he worked as a movie maker but has not been able to return to work. He was helping in the courtyard when the bomber exploded his incendiary device and remembers being hit and falling to the floor in excruciating pain. He has ball bearings lodged in his back and needs an operation for them to be removed.  The cost of the operation is £200 and he also requires support for lost wages estimated at a potential 5 months, £500.

Basharat Masih needs an operation to remove deeply embedded ballbearings from his arm

Basharat Masih, 26,  was working in a factory and studying before the attack but he has not been able to work for 3 months because he has ball bearings deeply lodged in his arm.  He has had no treatment bar an initial bandaging of the wounds and they have now healed over.  He needs the ball bearings removed to avoid further complications such as infection and this will cost £100.  His lost wages amount to £300 for the period.

If you would like to donate towards helping the victims of the Lahore church bombings, then please use these bank details:

Payee: BPCA
Sort Code: 20-44-22
Account number: 43163318
Bank: Barclays
Ref:  Love for Lahore
For international Donations please use these details:
IBAN:  GB62 BARC 20442243163318


Alternatively if you would like to send a one off donation please use the PayPal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog, our PayPal email address is info@britishpakistanichristians.org.

Any cheques should be made payable to the BPCA
to our address; 57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG.

With your support we hope to change the lives of millions of Christians in Pakistan.

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