Dubai: Youth repatriated home with part of skull stored in stomach

The Pakistani expat had suffered massive brain stroke, internal bleeding after fall in bathroom

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By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Fri 24 Jun 2022, 4:38 PM

Last updated: Fri 24 Jun 2022, 10:20 PM

A 27-year-old Pakistani who had suffered from a massive brain stroke, has been repatriated to his home country after seven months in hospital following a rare surgery in which part of his skull had to be removed to ease pressure on the brain, and stored in his stomach.

Dr Chelladurai Hariharan, specialist neurosurgery at Aster Hospital, Al Qusais, who helped save the life of Nadeem Khan, said that since the skull cannot be outside for long, there was no other option than to preserve it inside his abdomen, so that it can be re-affixed to his head when his condition improves.

In November 2021, Khan, a construction worker, was rushed to Aster Hospital, Al Qusais, after his friends found him unconscious in the bathroom. “Nadeem had gone to the bathroom and we heard a big sound at around 1am. There was no response when we knocked on the door, so we forced open the door and found him lying unconscious on the floor,” said Inzamam, a friend of Khan.

Despite futile attempts to wake him up, Khan lay unconscious, and the friends decided to rush him to hospital. “We got scared and carried him down and rushed him to the hospital in a taxi. On the way, he suddenly began experiencing seizures and the episodes continued for more than 20 minutes. His mouth began frothing, and his body turned rigid,” recalled Inzamam.

By the time they reached Aster Hospital, Khan was in a highly-distressed state. At the emergency department, the medical team managed to stabilise Khan and subjected him to a series of tests.

A CT scan revealed that he had suffered a massive stroke that had caused a lot of bleeding in the brain. He had to undergo complex brain surgery to save his life.

Right side paralysed

Dr Hariharan said that Khan had suffered a massive stroke which had affected the left side of his brain and had caused bleeding. “When we inquired with Khan’s friends, they told us that he had complained of weakness in his lower limbs some days back. That probably was a sign of what was coming. If he had come to the hospital then, he would not have had to go through this painful journey,” said Dr Hariharan.

“In the hospital, he was diagnosed with hypotension (low blood pressure), tachycardia (faster heart rate), and tachypnea (rapid breathing). Apart from damage to the brain, he had pulmonary embolism — blood-clotting in his lung — as well. We rectified the damage to the brain first and then treated him for pulmonary embolism,” the doctor added.

Seven months in hospital

Though the surgery saved his life, Khan was left with paralysis of the right side. He had to be in the ICU for a long time to treat his pulmonary embolism under the care by Dr Chaitanya Prakash Prabhu, specialist critical care medicine at Aster Hospital, Qusais. He was later shifted to Aster Hospital, Sonapur, for long-term care and was there for about six months before being repatriated to his home country with the Pakistan Consulate’s help.

Khan’s family back home is more than grateful to the doctors at Aster Hospital for saving his life. Khan’s brother who works in Dubai, said: “Nadeem has reached home safely. We were worried for him. He can now speak and remember all of us. He is weak and needs support to move the right side of his body. But we are now confident that his health will gradually improve following physiotherapy. We are thankful to all the doctors, nurses, and the officials at Pakistan Consulate for supporting us so generously. We will always be indebted to them for their kind act.”


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