SLIGHTLY more than a month ago, I received an SMS just after Suboh prayers that jolted me wide awake. Nik Aiza, a former colleague at Maxis, text me saying that her infant son had passed away, having succumbed to leukemia.
Yesterday, she sent me an e mail, which I'm sharing with everyone. The following is what Aiza wrote:
"Dear friends & colleagues,
My beloved son, Rayyan Hakimi passed away on 12th June 2008 at 4.45am after battling leukemia since March last year. He was 2 years, 8 months old. He passed away peacefully after enduring the pain of chemo for more than a year.
"His cancer cells were too strong and resistant to every chemo protocol given to him. In the end, doctors advised us to stop the chemo and to let him go peacefully without torturing him with anymore toxic chemo.
"Based on his blood count, the doctor predicted weeks to go & that we utilize that time to let him be free & enjoy everything possible - no more rules.
"We had planned so many exciting things for him and looked foward to enjoy each of them as we knew time was against us. Unfortunately, his condition started to deteriorate further as the days passed by and despite all the freedom, he could barely run..walk..stand...sit.. every move was too painful for him.
"We didn’t give up hope and went for several alternative treatment…but he was getting weaker & hardly ate.
"We had tried everything that we could possibly do and if there was going to be no miracle cure, then we prayed for Allah to take him to a better place. He will be dearly missed by our family and friends, even doctors and nurses.
"All the joy, smile and happiness that he brought to us (even temporarily) will be remembered forever. May he rest peacefully & bask in the joys of heaven.
"I suppose we can find comfort in the fact that despite the chemo & other treatments for more than a year, he had quality of life - not bedridden, still full of energy and yes, lots of character.
"He was growing up fairly like a normal child eventhough his blood results were never great. We had a heads-up when the doctors finally gave up & said that he had about a month to go & he only fell into a coma for 2 days & went in his sleep while my husband & I held his hands.
"My heartfelt thanks to all of you for all the well wishes, prayers, support, kind thoughts, contribution and condolences throughout Rayyan's illness until now. There is a saying that goes "When you need strength, it will come."
"And during this unimaginable difficult period, all of you have helped give us that strength in one way or another. Thanks to those who came over to the hospital, our home and the countless SMSs which I didn’t manage to reply. I also apologize for anyone that I may have missed out from this email.
"I am eternally grateful to all of you & there's no way for me to repay you but to wish that all the blessings be returned to you & your families.
"Salam & best regards."
I wish Aiza and family strength and fortitude in this trying time. No amount of words can comfort you. But you know that you and your family had given Rayyan all the love and care he could possibly have, and more. Cherish the memories and moments of tenderness you shared together.
God Almighty, in all His wisdom, had put you and family to a test that far exceeded the ones you had ever encountered before. I'm sure you and family will emerge stronger and with more compassion in the coming years. My doa for all of you.