Dialysis patient and life skills trainer vows “to fight to the last moment”

“I was in shock, didn’t even know how to cry,” says Abdullah Musthaq, 33, of the fateful day in May when he was told that both his kidneys had failed.

The tears did come, and with it concern about his four year old daughter. “I thought of who would take care of her after I’m gone, who would help her achieve things in life.”

These thoughts are no longer what preoccupy Musthaq. “The first day when I got the news was the only day when my mind vacillated, between hope and despair.”

Dressed in a black shirt, sitting in his modest sitting room, Musthaq is the epitome of an upbeat person. He is often asked how he manages to stay so positive in the face of such adversity. “I decided that I will do all it takes to get better, that I would fight until the last moment.”

Mustfaq at a training session

Using educational skills

Musthaq credits his educational skill and his area of work for his positive attitude. He is a trainer of life skills: “I teach people parenting skills, on how to have a positive attitude and build confidence.”

The news that he was at the last stage of renal disease came as a surprise to him. On his way to India on a personal trip, he experienced swollen feet and was diagnosed at KIM’s hospital. “The doctors in India told me that I would have had symptoms before.”

The symptoms were there, feeling tired, swelling feet, nausea but the kidney problem was not diagnosed. Musthaq would rather not dwell on that.

“I am at peace, I am thankful to God that I am a beneficial person to the society and that I can contribute positively.”

Since the age of 12 Musthaq has been in the education field; as a student he gave tuition to younger kids, and later he took up teaching professionally at the age of 22. He also works as a counselor at AMDC clinic.

His teachings has touched many among them Zaeema Mohamed. “My life had changed dramatically for the better since I took part in Musthaq’s workshops,” says Zaeema who took part in a parenting skills and leadership skills workshops. “I feel it’s my duty to help him now.”

Zaeema volunteers with 19 students and friends in helping to raise money for Musthaq’s treatment.

Hope for survival

Musthaq’s only hope of survival is a kidney transplant. The costs for the transplant, including the stay in Sri Lanka, is US$45,000, but volunteers have already raised 53 percent of the amount from a generous public.

Musthaq’s wife says she couldn’t have faced the situation at all if it had been her. “He is very brave; even the dialysis is painful process.”

Dialysis is a thrice weekly thing for Musthaq. Two needles are inserted to his arm, one into a vein and another into an artery. Musthaq doesn’t numb his arm as the doctor says that it’s better to do it that way.

He often gives pep talks to other patients on dialysis if they seem distressed. “I try to give them hope, ask them to fight.”

“Musthaq has used his education and the knowledge he uses in his training on himself, that’s why he is able to be a fighter and stay positive, with strength God gives him,” says Hussain Abdullah ‘Kendhoo’, coordinator of the ‘Help Musthaq’ movement, and his friend.

Kendhoo worked as a fellow teacher with Musthaq in the 90’s. He lost touch with Musthaq and says he bumped into Musthaq upon his return from studies abroad and found out about his illness.

“I can’t give financial help, so I thought this was one way I could help out.”

Kendhoo floated the idea of a voluntary team. With their wives in tow, Kendhoo and Musthaq had the initial meeting with friend’s and students who wanted to volunteer. Now the team meets every night that Musthaq is not on dialysis.

“We don’t have any administrative costs, each volunteer pays for their own phone calls and any other expenses, whatever we raise is kept for Musthaq’s treatment.”

The team sells badges and T-shirts, but their main aim is workshops to improve people’s lives.

Musthaq and Kendhoo both wanted to link the activities to education. “I want to impart the knowledge I have, for the donations” says Musthaq, adding that he would like people to be able to deal with life’s hardships in a good way. “If people accept that in life anything could happen, that you might fall ill, if that acceptance is there you will be more ready to face whatever hurdles that come your way in a positive fashion.”

Kendhoo says Mushtaq’s attitude is impressive, “If we have a headache most of us would skip work. Musthaq in his condition still works as a counselor, and you have to have inner strength to do that.”

A professional accountant, Kendhoo plans to get a local firm to do an audit of the money they have raised. “We will publish everything on our website so that the public won’t lose trust in movements like these, because there are others that still need help.”

Next on Musthaq’s agenda is just that. “Once I get better I would like to start an association to help the dozens of patients who are in the same situation as me.”

A seminar on ‘Ulitmate successful living’ by Ahmed Musthaq will take place on Saturday October 23 at Dharubaaruge from 20:30pm to 22:30pm. Seminar will be conducted in Dhivehi. For tickets and information please call 797 7353 or 998 6244.


13 thoughts on “Dialysis patient and life skills trainer vows “to fight to the last moment””

  1. I do agree for people to help Musthaq! but he has decieved many. He has been teaching tutoring islanders by telling them he is a qualified higher education certificate holder. Nor had he any experience in the field..he was corrdinator at Focus Education Centre for mobile training! while he is merely Olevel. Issue here is this a typical Maldivian con job! He was assisted by some at ministry of Education for money! Can't trust someone who cheat! Hope he recovers from in good health and god give him good health AND he reforms to NOT to cheat! Its so easy to cheat!

  2. Abdullah Musthaq is a citizen of Maldivian: a country with rich marine wealth, idyllic beaches and a world class tourism industry. Despite of all the potential and profit from the tourism, when one of its citizens have to pay medical bills, he has to go begging. Isn't this a shame.. Why cannot a small population of 30,000 people have good medicare, even by leasing 200 more new islands as resorts. The way Maldivians population is aging, surely this has to be an issue.

    BTW, if this is matter of paying an MP to switch parties, this money would be raised in an instant.

  3. Is he buying the kidneys he is getting? If so, isn't that organ trafficking? From where and whom he gets the 2 kidneys from? Is the money being collected for only the procedure or also to pay (buy) the organ donors?

    These are serious questions that need to be answered in any business of organ donation.

  4. @ Musab
    You do not need to hold a higher education certificate for life skills cos no such thing exists. You can have gone through various personal development transformation programs which are products of individual coaches or institutes who provide transformational coaching.

    International Coaching Federation has been trying to set standards but none of the two existing institutes can yet claim to be the qualification authority for life skills. Life skills have increasingly become popular in the last 15 years as it helps people immensely in everyday lives and coaches live Musthag can help people and make a big difference.

    I understand his positive attitude in spite of his illness comes from his personal awareness and is result of knowing how to deal with it. Most people would despair. So those of you who can open up your minds can benefit just from talking to him, going to his programs, and being willing to take charge of your own life.

    Musthag. I am with you all along on this

    Another life skills coach

  5. @musab
    How mean can you be. All you are concerned about is that he has not got a certificate to say he is qualified in helping people. As Sensa says, you do not need the certificate. Even if he did, I dont care, he has helped so many people, he is far better than any certificate.

    He only needs one kidney. You dont need two to live a very good life. I am sure there are many people willing to donate a kidney to him, his wife or other. But no point unless there is the money to pay for the operation.

  6. @ ADHD

    regarding your questions about the kidney transplantation, you only need to get one kidney for the transplant. the donor is required to be a family member and he/she will be accepted after extensive blood work to check whether the blood type and other details match. even so, a lot of surgeries end up unsuccessful because the body rejects the transplanted kidney as it is a foreign body. the patient will be put on long term medication including strong steroids so that the kidney is not rejected.

    however, i do accept that a lot of organs are donated via the black market by some irresponsible institutions. the respected and responsible hospitals only accept donors who are family members.

    a close family member recently went through the same ordeal. thankfully, he survived after a successful transplant. i wish mustaq the same fate. seek refuge in god during these hard times.

  7. hi i feel how mustaq is holding his nerves during dialysis. CRF is very early detected could well treated. May almighty Alla arrange fr him a compatable donor fast. let Alla bless all volunters who have take such services fr mustaq. kinly more exposures about more renal failure SUFFERS TO BE SCREENED

  8. Hope that to save himself , he is not acting in an unethical manner. http://bit.ly/ya1Vn


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