A brave frontline doctor who is continuing to care for patients as he waits for a life-saving liver transplant has launched a “desperate” £250,000 fundraising appeal.
Abbas Al-Qafaji risks his life every day working in busy A&E departments across the north during the pandemic.
But the father of three fears transplant delays caused by Covid means he is running out of time.
So he is trying to raise the cash to pay for private surgery.
He said: “I love the NHS but I fear I could die unless I get help soon and go private for the transplant.”
Abbas, 52, from Grimsby, was diagnosed in March with liver cancer and recently another tumour was discovered.
He has now found a living donor – a family friend, who has been tested and approved by transplant medics.
Abbas said: “I’m really desperate for help. I’m not on the super urgent list that needs to be done in weeks, but I’m feel-ing weak, lethargic, tired, helpless and hopeless.
“I’m a doctor and I know that as you get weaker you can be told, ‘Sorry you’re too weak to have the operation.’
"I can’t risk waiting months for a decision which may still be no.”
Abbas is continuing to work for the sake of his wife, Farah, 47, and their children – son Saif, 14, and daughters Nawal, 10, and Dalal, four.
He said: “Covid is a few metres away from me at work. That does scare me but I have no option. I’m a locum doctor who needs to support his family.
“I am breaking down in tears when I see the kids because I’m worried about what they will do if I’m not here.”
Abbas says the increase in demand for intensive care beds during the Covid outbreak has put a strain on NHS transplant services.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said transplants from living donors have continued during the crisis.
But it added: “The decision to go ahead with altruistic donation during a pandemic is complex. Our highly specialist teams assess risks on an individual basis to ensure the safety of the donor is paramount. This may mean operations are delayed.”
Abbas hopes to have his transplant at a private London hospital in the New Year. But he said: “It’s going to cost a lot of money. I hope people can help me.
“I came here over 20 years ago to join the NHS and I’m a British citizen. I love this country and the NHS. When I’m better I’ll go back to the job I love. ”
Abbas estimates he has made more than 3,000 early diagnoses of cancer in his fight to save others – and Saif wants him to keep battling.
He said: “Please help my dad. He wants to live so he can carry on saving lives in the NHS.”Follow the Official Rokna NEWS Telegram Channel For More and fresh NEWS.