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Jameela Bibi feeding her daughter Jasmin some fruit juice through a tube that goes directly into her stomach. — TRP pic by Mohammad Mokhsin Zamani
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JASMIN Mohd Rafiq Ramoo has always been an independent person throughout her childhood, but today at 32, she is at the mercy of God and her mother.
Seven years ago, Jasmin was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) — an unpredictable, disabling disease that disrupts information flow between the brain and body.
When Jasmin was still studying she always looked after her brothers, studied independently, maintained excellent grades and was an exemplary student and leader.
In fact, her mother Jameela Bibi Sulaiman says Jasmin has always been a filial child.
“She never bothered us about going for tuition and even stopped her brothers from doing so. She said that tuitions are unnecessary, if they concentrate in class.”
“She will never trouble us with her whims and fancies. After SPM, she wanted to go to law school but because my husband asked her to consider doing a course in Human Resource Management, as the career prospects are brighter, she obeyed just to make him happy,” says Jameela, adding that she aced all her exams and even made it into the dean’s list
A year after her graduation in 2004, Jasmin was teaching part-time at a school nearby but began experiencing blurring of vision.
“The words she scribbled on the blackboard would overlap and when her students pointed it out, she would joke and tell them that she was just testing them to see if they were paying attention.
“While she was seated at home, her hands would tremble, but she would quickly hide it under a cushion.”
“She probably didn’t want us to worry, but sooner or later we started noticing that her steps began to falter,” says Jameela.
By 2006, Jasmin had difficulty walking and crossing roads as she couldn’t determine whether the cars were near or far.
“It was in 2008 when our maid called me at work to say that Jasmin had a fall and she could not get up and, sadly, that was the last we ever saw her walk,” says Jameela.
“A visiting specialist at a private hospital was the one who confirmed it as MS. It’s so difficult to find a neuro specialist, let alone someone who can treat MS,” she adds.
The disease has caused partial vision and hearing loss but Jasmin can still respond to voices, particularly that of her mother’s.
Though her responses are delayed, Jameela says she is thankful that the disease has not completely damaged her daughter’s nervous system.
“She can hear me. I will sing to her and talk to her all the time. She will respond to noise and cringes every time I give her a bath or touch her which goes to show that her senses are still functioning,” says Jameela.
The mother of three says only faith keeps her going and she will relentlessly try any treatment — both modern and traditional — until her daughter is cured.
Jameela, 57, decided to quit her job as a transcriptionist at a private hospital and devote her time to feeding, cleaning, grooming and entertaining Jasmin.
While the middle class family can afford supplements and physiotherapy to boost Jasmin’s immune system and physical condition, they are not able to find a specialist to treat her condition.
“I’ve kept notes on MS and everything Jasmin has gone through from, the start. I hope to find a specialist who can advise us on what to do.”
Jameela says she has been receiving assistance from the zakat office.
“We can afford treatments which are within a few hundreds, but not when they run up to thousands of Ringgit.”
“I currently need to purchase nanotron equipment as it is the latest treatment we are giving Jasmin, but that would cost RM6,000 and we definitely cannot afford it,” says Jameela who lives in Taman Sri Andalas, Klang.
“I am also looking for others to share their experiences of dealing with MS because Jasmin has to get up and walk one day. She cannot be lying on the bed forever.”
Those who wish to help Jasmin can contribute to her treatment equipment via her mother’s CIMB Bank Account — 7007402154— under the name of Jameela Bibi binti Sulaiman or call Jameela at +60129032183
Watch how Jameela takes care of Jasmin here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=902510593101062&set=vb.638312386187552&type=2&theater
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