Tale of a baby bird and a heart of gold
When Leon noticed a baby parakeet had fallen from its nest on a treetop, he knew he had to do something to help.
The mother parakeet was anxious, trying to draw the attention of passersby, flying and crying frantically. Despite this, most people walked away without even noticing.
But 10-year-old Leon was not like others. He picked the baby bird up delicately, and with one hand, started climbing up the tree to return it to the mother.
The child, however, met with a tragic accident when he lost his balance and fell right on the concrete wall near the tree. Instantly, he began bleeding heavily and fell unconscious.
While Leon lay unconscious, the baby bird, with no other help available, died in his palm.
Leon was taken to Rangpur Medical College Hospital, where he regained his senses three weeks later.
This incident occurred in Thakurgaon back in May, 2018.
Almost six years on, Leon is still suffering in hospital.
He has so far undergone five brain surgeries, with the latest being on December 23 at the National Institute of Neuro Sciences & Hospital in the capital, where he had to be shifted for better treatment.
Leon's mother Muktarani said she has been going through a continuous struggle for her son's recovery.
"After the first surgery, he was normal and was able to study and everything. But after a year and half, he fell sick again and needed another surgery. This has been going on for over five years now."
Physicians, however, gave her some hope saying Leon may see full recovery after the latest surgery.
Muktarani said, "My husband abandoned me and my children [Leon and his sister] when Leon was just one year old. He married another woman and started another family somewhere else."
Since Leon's father was the sole breadwinner of the family, Muktarani fell into despair, having lost her husband and financial stability.
Her mother, Leon's grandmother, then took up a job at a restaurant and also started making clothes at home to help run the family.
However, the treatment cost for Leon kept mounting through the years. Though locals came forward to help, the family's financial status remains uncertain.
Speaking to the correspondent at the hospital, Leon said, "After my father had left us, every time my mother would leave us home to go outside and look for work, I used to feel very frantic and anxious. When I saw that baby bird, I saw my anxious young self. I had to help it. I had to try and return it to its mother."
Leon, who will be promoted to the ninth grade soon, said he wants to get a good job when he grows up and take good care of his family.
But for Leon's dreams to come true, he needs to get better. To get better, his family needs help.
If anyone wants to donate to Leon's treatment, The Daily Star can help them get in touch with his family.