Two foreigners get new lease of life at city hospital

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New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Two foreign nationals who last month underwent surgeries for removal of Desmoid Tumour, a tumour which spreads aggressively, are recuperating in a city hospital here.

Mahipal Bhanot, Facility Director of Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, where the surgeries took place, said that 15 foreign nationals have undergone treatment at their hospital during last month.

He added that the number of foreign nationals coming to India for treatment is increasing as the quality of care is at par with hospitals in other countries while the cost is only one-tenth.

One of the patients, 49-year-old Zekria Ramozi from Afganisthan, fished out an old Nokia mobile phone from his pocket and while flipping through the images stopped at one. The photo showed him a year ago with red cheeks, weighing 88 kg and sporting a snug dark-coloured jacket. It was taken before Ramozi was diagnosed with Desmoid Tumour.

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On Monday, wearing a loose fitting light green salwar kameez, weakness is evident in his light brown baggy eyes — he has lost 29 kg.

But now free of the tumour, Ramozi is recovering fast.

Six months ago, the tandoori roti seller from Kabul was diagnosed with Desmoid Tumor.

The father of eight said that initially he did not face any practical problems due to the tumour, but as time passed it became difficult to carry out his day-to-day activities and that is when he decided to go to a doctor.

Ramozi underwent a surgery in Kabul, but it was not successful and he was later referred to our hospital, Bhanot said. He was admitted here on June 13.

The surgery was extremely complex and took around 10 hours to complete, said Bhanot, adding that the disease is rare and there are only two-to-four cases in a million.

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Kadhim Hasan Ali, a 36-year-old soldier from Iraq, also underwent similar surgery at the hospital on June 28 and is recuperating.

“Now I would be able to use my prosthetic leg and carry on with my life,” Ali, who lost his leg in a bomb explosion, said in a recorded video message from the hospital.

There are two factors that make the surgery complex. Firstly, the tumour which is spread over a large area has to be removed with a considerable margin around it to make sure that there is no residue left.

Secondly, skin from some other part of the body has to be grafted to the area after operation.

“It’s difficult to graft skin in such a large area as the abdomen wall has no support and movement of internal organs make it more complex,” Bhanot said.

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The affected area in Ramozi’s abdomen was about 26 cm wide and doctors said that surgeries of this magnitude are rare.

Bhanot said that most of the patients they get are from Kenya, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

Asked about his treatment, Ramozi gave a thumbs up and smiled, revealing his stained teeth, and said that he is feeling much better now.

Ramozi, who can put together small sentences in Hindi with difficulty, said that watching Bollywood movies back home had helped him.

“I haven’t seen much of India, but I’ll be coming back six months later and then may be I’ll be able to explore the country,” said Ramozi who is all set to return to Kabul.



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