Days after Sudanese student loses legs in train mishap…Shocked father succumbs to typhoid

(From left) Dr Hara Mustafa, a relative, Abdullah’s friend Sarah James
Pregnant sister running pillar to post to fulfil formalities, arrange blood, and find accomodation after hotels refuse.
How can a gap between a train and a platform be big enough for a 24-year old to fall in?” an exasperated Dr Hara Mustafa asks while trying to come to terms with the double tragedy that has hit her family. Dr Mustafa’s father succumbed to a prolonged battle with typhoid five days after his youngest daughter lost both her legs in an accident in Mumbai.

Dr Mustafa’s sister Jowahir Abdullah’s legs had to be amputated after she fell in the gap between the Koyna Express and the platform at Dadar station on July 12. The 24-year-old, who had just completed a civil engineering course at an institute in Sangli, was on her way to Sudan to meet her family after a gap of four years. She was to board a flight from Mumbai. As soon as the family heard of the accident, Dr Mustafa rushed to Mumbai. As she landed in the city, she was told the tragic news of her father’s demise.

“Abdullah is the youngest of six siblings and her father’s most beloved. He could not bear the news of her accident,” says Gift Patrick, a friend.

But Dr Mustafa, who is six months pregnant, has no time to grieve as she fervently juggles hospital formalities, blood requirements for Abdullah, and finding a hotel for them to stay in, all the while keeping a tab on her sister’s fast deteriorating condition. Abdullah suffered two cardiac arrests on Tuesday.

As her father’s funeral was underway in the Sudanese capital of Juba on Tuesday, the 31-year-old gynaecologist sat patiently on a bench outside the trauma unit at Sion Hospital, waiting for her sibling to gain consciousness.

Abdullah’s close friend Sarah James, who flew in from Delhi, says, “She called me from the train. She was so happy she was meeting her family after four long years.”

James shudders as she recounts the sequence of events on the fateful day. She was waiting for Abdullah’s call from the airport, but the one she did receive told her that her friend had met with a horrible accident.

“When I called back I could hear sirens and I knew something was seriously wrong.” She immediately rushed to Mumbai to be with her friend.

“We would like to know how she fell from the train. How can there be such a big gap that a person slips into it?” Dr Mustafa demands even as she struggles for her own logistics.

“Hotels refused to accommodate us as we are foreigners. Jowahir’s universityarranged for a room but it is big enough for only one person. We are seven. And we are being asked us to vacate as no one has paid for it yet,” she says almost on the verge of breaking down.

Meanwhile, the Central Railway constituted a team of divisional officers to examine the accident and draw up precautionary measures.

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