No need to go abroad for complex ENT surgeries!!
The day started just like another usual Friday for Mohammed Mir Gulzar. As it was the weekend, he did not have to rush to his electronics shop and worry about selling appliances to customers. Gulzar lives in Qatar, far away from his family who lives in Bangladesh. Over breakfast with his nephew and brother who lived in Qatar with him, Gulzar suddenly started to feel numb in his face, along with dizziness and a loss of balance. “Take me to hospital,” those were the last words he said before ending up in the intensive-care ward, hooked up to a life-support machine in a hospital in a land far away from home.
Gulzar was unconscious for two months in the ICU of a hospital in Qatar, struggling between life and death. After he regained his senses, he found that he was unable to breathe on his own. As he found it difficult to breathe, he had to undergo surgeries twice on his trachea (windpipe) to create a hole, a surgical procedure called tracheostomy. But unfortunately the operations led to tracheal stenosis, a complex condition where the rings of his windpipe got hard and congested. As a result of blockage in the windpipe, Gulzar could not talk and could not even breathe without support; he was unable to utter a single word for one long year. Finally, he decided that enough was enough, and resolved to return to Bangladesh. As soon as he reached the airport, Gulzar’s wife decided to take him to an International Standard Tertiary Care hospital without any further delay.
“When he was brought to the hospital, we discovered the blockage above the tracheostomy tube,” says Gulzar’s ENT Consultant. Even though he was breathing through the tube artificially, he was not able to speak as his trachea had abnormally constricted due to the prior surgeries. The ENT Surgeon here first did laser dilation of Gulzar’s stenosis, but that had granular deposit at the site because of which Gulzar wasn’t being able to talk and breathe properly. “So I decided to go for another surgery where I reset his second to fifth tracheal rings and made anastomosis between the first and sixth tracheal rings,” the ENT Consultant says.
Conducting this surgery in Gulzar’s airway was not an easy feat. A number of risks are associated with surgeries of such delicate nature, and they require careful coordination between the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and the operating team. It was a five hour long operation. Gulzar was kept under intense observation for two days, so that any immediate measures can be taken if something went wrong with him.
The rest of the story is no less than a miracle for Gulzar and his family. The odds of his talking again and breathing on his own were very slim, that’s what the doctors in Qatar told him. But now here he is, able to breathe without any extra help from a pipe and taking the first steps to regaining his speech. Gulzar will undergo speech therapy after a month or so when his trachea is fully strengthened.
Contrary to general belief that our local hospitals are inept at dealing with complicated ailments, our countrymen suffering abroad are deciding to come back to our country to avail complicated surgery in International Standard hospital here. So why go abroad spending all these money when you can have similar or better treatment here?