Ammar Hussein Jawadwala, who has battled leukaemia, contracted an infection after appearing for his first HSC paper on Friday and had to be rushed to hospital; desperate not to miss out on a paper, he made a trip to the exam hall in between treatment
Even though he describes himself as a ‘notorious’ student who is not ‘studious’ at all, HSC candidate Ammar Hussein Jawadwala’s actions belie his modesty.
Ammar (left) was accompanied for his Physics exam yesterday by his brother Mufadal Jawadwala. He needed a writer as he couldn’t move his right hand due to the drip administered to him during treatment
The 18-year-old boy from Nagpada, who is appearing for the exam this year after a gritty battle with cancer, contracted an infection after his first paper on Friday, and had to rush off to hospital for treatment.
Ammar (in white) took a year off from his studies, and decided not to give his HSC board exam in 2013, so that he could undergo treatment
Refusing to let the hospital stay come in the way of his academic aspirations, Ammar requested for a three-hour-long break from Saifee Hospital yesterday - just so he could appear for his Physics paper.
Ammar has been suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells, since 2012, when he was a first year student of science in Junior College (FYJC).
He underwent chemotherapy and kept going back for check-ups after finishing FYJC. To give time to his treatment, he took a year off from his studies, deciding not to give his HSC board exam in 2013.
By January last year, he had recovered, and was ready to rejoin college. He decided to appear for the HSC examination in February 2014.
Mufadal Jawadwala, Ammar’s elder brother, said, “For the past eight months he has been attending college and has been on medication. Suddenly, after giving his English paper, he came home and developed a fever. We had to rush him to the hospital.”
Ammar said, “I was okay when I went to appear for my exam. I don’t know how I suddenly got fever. I am a bit notorious and not the studious kind, but studied the whole year round to appear for my board exam.
I didn’t experience any problems during my practical exams. But I don’t know what happened after my English exam on Friday.”
Explaining his determination to appear for the paper, Ammar added, “I have already taken a year off after my FYJC, and don’t want to waste any more. My right hand had the IV channel, so I had to ask for a writer for the Physics exam today.
I took permission from my doctor to write the paper and come back to hospital afterwards. My next paper is in Mathematics, and I don’t think I will take a writer because I need to solve the problems on my own, on paper. I hope I get better before the paper.”
What is acute lymphoblastic leukemia?
All is the most common type of leukaemia in young children. This disease also affects adults, especially those who are 65 years or older. Standard treatments involve chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Munira Jawadwala, Ammar’s mother
After his English paper, Ammar’s White Blood Cell (WBC) count came down to 400, whereas the normal count is 4,000. We had to take him to hospital, where he is being given injections and medicine and is continuously under observation. He insisted on giving his board exam, so the doctor permitted him to leave the hospital for three hours and return after the exam. Now he will go back to hospital and stay there till his next paper on Saturday.
Dr Mehboob Basade, Oncologist Treating Ammar
Ammar developed an infection and his blood count came down. He needed immediate treatment. He will be given injections and chemotherapy. He was keen on giving his board exam, so we allowed him leave of three hours just to appear for his paper.
Mohammed Aslam, Pprincipal of Anjuman-I-Islam’s MH Saboo Siddik Tech High School and Junior College
Luckily, I was in my office on Monday when Ammar’s brother called us and narrated Ammar’s condition. He requested for a writer for Ammar and we immediately sent a letter to the board office at Vashi. The board allowed Ammar to use a writer.
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