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Thread: A true story about friends...

  1. #1
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    A true story about friends...

    It is scorching down in the desert. The schools have just finished. Three youngsters with broken down sandals skip their way to their meager homes.

    They hold a stick in their hand. There are berries on these thorny trees. The kids might be able to shake them off the tree...eat a few, sell a few.

    You know Faisal, says Rayyan, maybe your mother has some old beef left forgotten?
    No, says Ali. I would have eaten it by now, he continues. The kids head home, lost in some kid thoughts.

    Wish we had money, says Faisal. Why?, from Rayyan. You would waste it anyway adds Rayyan.

    No, says Faisal. I would save some money, buy my father and mother some food and keep the rest for studies.

    Ali laughs. We the students. More like keeping our camel pen clean, if there are ever camels for us.
    Let's get some homework done, else no schools either. At least we have shade in the school.


    Ali makes an expert motion of his hand..like a wizard on your left. Snip. Faisal cuts. On your right.

    Years spent in the States, Canada, and Saudia. Cleveland Clinic, Arizona, MI., MN, LA....Accreditions from the schools in the States that would make anyone envious.

    Now they travel to the States..on lecture and demo tours. Heart transplants authorities from Saudia. Performing surgeries for those that cannot make it
    here or to any other advanced facility....from the desert to the world.
    From not having sandals to providing the gift of life and hope.

    They have to work on a friend; someone they grew up with, in the desert, when food was scarce.

    Last night 9 paedriactic heart surgeries. There was a time when there was none. Faisal looks down on his friend on the table. Heart stopped.

    He laughs. Looks up at Ali. Rayyan has slept for more than 8 hours.
    Time to bring him home. And amongst his friends.

    The school still stands.

    Faisal and Ali exchange a glance. It never would have been about money. It always was about the desert and its people. Their people, in the first instance. And then the others who do not have the money, from around the world.

    p.s. that is me on the table. And my friends working over me.
    Last edited by rayyan; 9th April 2013 at 13:36.
    koffee & kamera
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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Amazing... on so many levels, my friend.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    Amazing... on so many levels, my friend.
    Lloyd...

    Don, thank you my friend.

    Kindest regards.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    To those who are not familiar with my country, Saudia, allow me to tell you something about its medical facilities....

    The team that took care of me, is comprised of a lot of people. The hospital is a quarternary Specialist Care and Research Center. The Referral Center for transplants in the Gulf and Middle East Region. Heart, Lung, Kidney. The Referral Center in the Middle East for advanced Oncology treatment.

    The Cardiac team that handled me ( as they handle all others ) is big.
    Specifically I was handled by specialists from the following countries:

    Saudia, USA, Canada, Britain, Pakistan, India, Australia, Phillipines, Malaysia,
    Scandinavia. This was my Cardiac Surgery team plus those incharge of Anaesthesia, heart/lung machines and backup in the surgery room.

    Two of the three surgeons are my childhood friends.

    Saudia, Lebanon, Norway, Pakistan, Britain, New Zealand, Palestine. Supported by the best staff one could have wished for in the CS-ICU bed #15..intensive care.


    Saudia..Medical Imaging, Interventional Radiology, MRI, CT and Nuclear scans...collegues of my son handled it here. Kids, I saw grow up together with my son in school and Medical College.

    Calling this the ' A ' team would be an understatement.





    The first question that Ali, the surgeon, asked me when I was conscious was
    ' which brand of cigarettes, do you want now ? '!

    And above all, so that I do not ever forget..not far from where my surgery took place...

    My beautiful, beautiful home..



    And to the team...may God Bless you all.
    koffee & kamera
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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Wow - what an amazing post. I'm almost lost for words...

    All the very best, rayyan.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    I'm grateful for (and to) your friends. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Now about those cigarettes...

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Inspiring, beautiful post, Rayyan. You and your story are an inspiration to us all! I am glad that you have found safe passage back to us. Thank you for share with us your journey. It means a lot to me, us....
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: A true story about friends...

    And as Lloyd implied, no more ciggys
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Rayyan,

    You continue to amaze! Thank god you came through and are continuing to share with us. I haven't posted in a while, but, this makes me smile, and i wanted to tell you that.

    Cheers, Matt

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Ashwin, Ben, Darr, Emr, Matt...

    Thank you guys so very much.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by tbhv55 View Post
    Wow - what an amazing post. I'm almost lost for words...

    All the very best, rayyan.
    Thanks a bunch!! Really appreciated.

    Kindest regards.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    I'm grateful for (and to) your friends. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Now about those cigarettes...
    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    Inspiring, beautiful post, Rayyan. You and your story are an inspiration to us all! I am glad that you have found safe passage back to us. Thank you for share with us your journey. It means a lot to me, us....
    Quote Originally Posted by m_driscoll View Post
    Rayyan,

    You continue to amaze! Thank god you came through and are continuing to share with us. I haven't posted in a while, but, this makes me smile, and i wanted to tell you that.

    Cheers, Matt
    The greatest gift for me? To have friends like you guys. Never met anyone of you in the flesh. But seems we have hung out forever.

    That is a blessing, I cannot ever forget.
    koffee & kamera
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    Re: A true story about friends...

    I have read somewhere ( re: image making ) that for an image to have meaning the photog must ' feel', ' be involved '. How else would a viewer ' feel '
    what was there?

    This is the closest I can get to being involved. Although, I am not the photog and I can assure you all I did not ' feel '.


    Press here to see a rendering of: Feelings I have none

    The one below depicts the first of the three ' tubes' that were in need of plumbing. There were 3 in total with a double cut/paste in one of them.

    See the narrowing on the right slight above center. Plaque deposits...Marlboro effects. Death was just around the corner. A heartbeat away?


    There was someone, very dear and special to me. I am told she cried and she prayed. Being American, her Arabic leaves a lot to be desired. But Language was the last barrier she had. This is what she sent me, when they told her she could not visit me in the hospital!!

    My grand daughter Mariam stuck a ribbon on this piece of paper and gave it to Ayesha with instructions that I got it!!


    It really is everyone's choice. Marlboro or quality time with the grandkids.I pray we all make the sensible decision in this regard.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Rayyan.....We Love You Brotha! Welcome Back!!!!

    James Taylor Secret o' Life - YouTube

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Your post is inspirational. As others have said, think about those cigs.

    Recuperate and heal quickly.

    G

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    All the best FM!

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Rayyan: Just missed your posts and your storytelling for a while and now that story ...

    Makes me speechless but, happy for now, that you're back!! I deeply wish you a very, very quick and complete recovery and - be strong and forget those cigarettes (I did about thirty years ago).

    All the best to you and yours.
    Best regards - Hermann

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Incredibly moving and very personal story from a gifted mind.

    To art, music, and mathematics, we can add medicine to the quest of one world united in peace and love.

    Be well.

    -Marc
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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by shtarka1 View Post
    Rayyan.....We Love You Brotha! Welcome Back!!!!

    James Taylor Secret o' Life - YouTube
    Luv u right back Steve.!!!

    Take care of yourself.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Your post is inspirational. As others have said, think about those cigs.

    Recuperate and heal quickly.

    G
    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    All the best FM!
    Godfrey, Vivek..

    Thank you. Cigs are history!

    Kindest regards.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by contrelamontre View Post
    Rayyan: Just missed your posts and your storytelling for a while and now that story ...

    Makes me speechless but, happy for now, that you're back!! I deeply wish you a very, very quick and complete recovery and - be strong and forget those cigarettes (I did about thirty years ago).

    All the best to you and yours.
    Hi Hermann..

    Glad u stopped by. Cigarettes have been thrown away; but the taste and thought still lingers on..

    I doubt I shall light one again, though. As my friend in the hosp said, we have done all we could..you are as good as new, heart wise.

    Change of lifestyle is required, else Rayyan there won't be a next time.

    Take care my friend.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Incredibly moving and very personal story from a gifted mind.

    To art, music, and mathematics, we can add medicine to the quest of one world united in peace and love.

    Be well.

    -Marc
    Thanks a lot Marc. And what a wonderful world it can be..if only we tried a little more!

    Warmest regards.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Rayyan ~ we've never met, either in person or through my own offerings on this most personal of websites, but I've enjoyed your posts for years. Today, having finally just ordered an RX100, I immediately started looking for threads and posts about what to expect. I enjoyed your own on the Sony thread first of all, followed by those of many others. But then I migrated to Small Sensor Cameras and got what I definitely did NOT expect ~ the news of your recent life threatening crisis!

    Your story, Rayan, is one of the most moving I have EVER read in a lifetime dedicated in no small part to reading! I am amazed. I still have tears. It's so profound ~ and that on so very many levels....

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have enriched my life.

    I can hardly wait to share it with my wife, Ingrid, who is an RN who assists in just such heart surgery, and to find a way to share it with her surgeons, too. Your beautiful story will be wondered at and read again and again, I assure you!

    Please express our admiration and thanksgiving to your colleagues and friends for all their skill and hard work and compassion, and please continue to do all that YOU can to keep your own heart sound, and healthy, and expressive ~ and open to the intake and expression of genuine love ~ remembering the children....remembering your inspiring soul mate....remembering that you, yourself, DO make a real difference!

    And, for what it's worth, please know that there will be and are many prayers being made for you and your family and friends, including those from this inadequate orthodox christian in Montana.

    Gratefully yours,

    Thomas Turnbull
    aka Irenaeus
    Last edited by Irenaeus; 10th April 2013 at 12:18. Reason: typo

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyan View Post
    Hi Hermann..

    Glad u stopped by. Cigarettes have been thrown away; but the taste and thought still lingers on..
    Hi There Rayyan
    Here is me wishing you the fastest recovery . . . . as for the ciggies . . .
    i was an expert at giving up (every few months for 20 years). Emma and I gave up together on April fool's day in 2004(?) and we haven't smoked since.

    I read Allen Carr's book 'the easy way to give up smoking', which I found inspirational - basically it's about self respect.

    Now, nearly 10 years later I still like the smell of smoke, but I'm never tempted, not even in restaurants in far off places where everyone is smoking. Sometimes I've been found standing a little close to someone who smokes

    If you have the time, then it's an interesting read.

    Whatever - get well, and let's have some more of those mountain shots as soon as possible.
    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi There Rayyan
    Here is me wishing you the fastest recovery . . . . get well, and let's have some more of those mountain shots as soon as possible.
    all the best
    I assume that with the revascularization and a few months to recover and training... you should give Ayesha some competition up the hills!

    My professional life is anesthetizing cardiac patients...I have found that those who return early with graft closure are usually those who continue to smoke.
    Enough said....

    Rest, sleep well and dream of the mountains!

    Best regards,

    Bob

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Rayyan, May your recovery be quick and complete. I always look forward to your images and the stories that often accompany them.

    Best regards and welcome back!

    Ben

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi There Rayyan
    Here is me wishing you the fastest recovery . . . . as for the ciggies . . .
    i was an expert at giving up (every few months for 20 years). Emma and I gave up together on April fool's day in 2004(?) and we haven't smoked since.

    I read Allen Carr's book 'the easy way to give up smoking', which I found inspirational - basically it's about self respect.

    Now, nearly 10 years later I still like the smell of smoke, but I'm never tempted, not even in restaurants in far off places where everyone is smoking. Sometimes I've been found standing a little close to someone who smokes

    If you have the time, then it's an interesting read.

    Whatever - get well, and let's have some more of those mountain shots as soon as possible.
    all the best
    Hi Jono.

    I have asked my wife to click amazon for the book!!
    I have not only to try to give up the ciggies...fair to say, it is a matter of life and death.

    Best regards.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    I assume that with the revascularization and a few months to recover and training... you should give Ayesha some competition up the hills!

    My professional life is anesthetizing cardiac patients...I have found that those who return early with graft closure are usually those who continue to smoke.
    Enough said....

    Rest, sleep well and dream of the mountains!

    Best regards,

    Bob
    Bob, thank you for the well wishes.
    Strange coincidence...let me narrate.

    Robert and his wife are from NH. They came to Saudi a few years back. They love to play squash, and we ran into them years ago in a sports complex.

    Today, we are close family friends. Ayesha visits them/family in the States whenever she is there. I have not crossed the Atlantic for sometime now..I can"t swim!!

    Anyway, Robert is in the same profession as you. He came in Monday 24/03/2013, at around 0600. With 2 of his assistants. He was leading a team of 7 people for my surgery. He smiled at me, ' scared, he asked ' holding my hand.

    Before I could reply, he said..' Promise you, you shall just feel a pinch '.
    0700 hrs, they wheeled me in. Bob was there. Introduced me to 7 people spread around. ' And Abdullah here is tasked to keep you alive for 2 hours with his gadgets!! '. ' Ready ?'. Ali and Faisal walked in with space suits, like the others.
    Faisal said something to me in Arabic. Ali laughed. I prayed.
    Bob held my hand..time to sleep Rayyan.

    I woke up in the ICU.

    Best.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by Irenaeus View Post
    Rayyan ~ we've never met, either in person or through my own offerings on this most personal of websites, but I've enjoyed your posts for years. Today, having finally just ordered an RX100, I immediately started looking for threads and posts about what to expect. I enjoyed your own on the Sony thread first of all, followed by those of many others. But then I migrated to Small Sensor Cameras and got what I definitely did NOT expect ~ the news of your recent life threatening crisis!

    Your story, Rayan, is one of the most moving I have EVER read in a lifetime dedicated in no small part to reading! I am amazed. I still have tears. It's so profound ~ and that on so very many levels....

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have enriched my life.

    I can hardly wait to share it with my wife, Ingrid, who is an RN who assists in just such heart surgery, and to find a way to share it with her surgeons, too. Your beautiful story will be wondered at and read again and again, I assure you!

    Please express our admiration and thanksgiving to your colleagues and friends for all their skill and hard work and compassion, and please continue to do all that YOU can to keep your own heart sound, and healthy, and expressive ~ and open to the intake and expression of genuine love ~ remembering the children....remembering your inspiring soul mate....remembering that you, yourself, DO make a real difference!

    And, for what it's worth, please know that there will be and are many prayers being made for you and your family and friends, including those from this inadequate orthodox christian in Montana.

    Gratefully yours,

    Thomas Turnbull
    aka Irenaeus
    Thomas, after reading your post, I find myself at a loss for words...not happens that often according to my wife!

    Two things, though, my friend.

    The first one...Our Lord's House...Your Lord and mine and everyone elses's...does not have reservation signs. It has many doors and all are welcome. The sign, if any, would read ' All are welcome. And all are equal '.
    So Thomas, it is your prayers and those of others that made it easy for me. Thank you so so very much.

    The second thought, I have. Let me weave a story, cheesy maybe, around it.

    Bob, the anaesthesia consultant and a family friend from NH, looked at me in the OR, held my hand, smiled and said..Rayyan you shall just feel a pinch.

    I felt the pinch. The OR was cold. A tunnel without directions. Dark, cold, unwelcoming. I am hurtling through it. I am scared. Real scared. I want to hold on to something but find a grasp. Falling. Weird shapes, colors from darkness surround me. I am afraid of death. This is the end. Strange patterns, I have never encountered before flash before my eyes. Fire. Flames. Evil visions. Pessimism. Are these my thoughts that I never had? Breathing is difficult, Darkness. I cry. Who shall hear me in this darkness. I need help. I need someone to help this feeble soul. I fall faster. Fall? But there is no down.

    Sounds, voices...distorted, incoherent, frightening. I need help. No help in the darkest recesses of this pit of despair with no hope.

    Then...a sound. I must be nearing the end. A sound. Not like the others. Soft, but reassuring. Soft but masking all others..

    ' Are you the traveler? ' a question, but I feel the answer is already known by the Voice.

    ' Yes ', clinging to hope. Praying for deliverance, help, comfort.

    ' Who comes with you to help you through this journey. Who shall guide you through this darkness? What help do you have with you Rayyan? '

    Without hesitation, I remember replying..' You, my Lord '.

    The rest is history...happened 2 weeks ago.

    Take care, stay well.

  30. #30
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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Wow. I am so glad to have wandered here, outside of my usual forum haunt. As others have said, your story is wonderfully moving and inspirational.

    Be well, Rayyan. Now it's time to work with the rehabilitation team. Even though I can be disciplined (and stubborn) I don't think I would have recovered nearly so well or so quickly without their help. It's been two years since my quadruple bypass and I feel great!

    Best regards,

    John.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by BenH View Post
    Rayyan, May your recovery be quick and complete. I always look forward to your images and the stories that often accompany them.

    Best regards and welcome back!

    Ben
    Ben, grateful for your wishes.
    I have always appreciated the encouragement your comments have provide me.

    My best wishes and kindest regards to you and yours.

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    Re: A true story about friends...

    Quote Originally Posted by JBurnett View Post
    Wow. I am so glad to have wandered here, outside of my usual forum haunt. As others have said, your story is wonderfully moving and inspirational.

    Be well, Rayyan. Now it's time to work with the rehabilitation team. Even though I can be disciplined (and stubborn) I don't think I would have recovered nearly so well or so quickly without their help. It's been two years since my quadruple bypass and I feel great!

    Best regards,

    John.
    John, thank you for your well wishes.
    It is always a wonderful feeling to be amongst friends.

    Kindest regards.

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