Abu Dhabi: A Bangladeshi grocery store worker in Al Ain has successfully received a prosthetic limb after his leg was damaged by a flesh-eating infection. Following treatment at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD), Hashan Ali has now decided to return home to Bangladesh.
A statement by the Abu Dhabi-based facility on Monday said Ali was first admitted to hospital in Al Ain with bacterial infection of his heart valve. During his stay, a bacteria-mixed blood clot travelled from his heart to his leg, blocking the flow of blood to the limb and causing a flesh-eating infection of his muscles called necrotising myositis.
He was then transferred to CCAD as an emergency case, and surgeons replaced the infected heart valve. They also removed the clot from his leg and worked to remove the affected tissues. Despite multiple treatments to clear the infection and prevent more tissue from dying, it continued to spread. It was then that doctors determined that an amputation was the only way to save his life.
When Ali was told about this, his immediate thought was of his family — a wife and three children in Bangladesh who rely on Ali’s salary to support them. “I was very scared when my doctor told me that I would need to have my leg amputated. The doctors had tried their best to save my leg and I understood that if they hadn’t removed it, the infection would have spread even further. Afterwards, my biggest worry was how I would be able to support my family back home if I could not continue working,” Ali said.
Nevertheless, the hospital’s vascular surgery team assessed Ali’s condition. They then went ahead to perform the delicate, life-saving surgery while also helping to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible to support a speedy recovery. Following the procedure, social workers from CCAD stepped in to see how they could support Ali. They began reaching out to his employer, embassy and local charities in an effort to find a sponsor for a prosthetic limb.
“Care doesn’t end with medical treatment. Our team is here for patients as they return to their lives following their recovery. In Ali’s case, the life-saving care he received left him with significant challenges to overcome. By supporting him through this process, we helped him return to work and continue providing for his family,” said Paul O’Shea, a social worker at CCAD.
O’Shea and other social workers at the hospital contacted a number of charities and the Embassy of Bangladesh in the UAE regarding Ali’s case. Fortunately, members of the UAE’s Bangladeshi community embassy staff rallied to support him through his recovery, while representatives from the Zakat Fund came to CCAD to meet Ali and learn more about his case.
Following the meeting, and in light of his situation and role as the sole breadwinner for his family, the Zakat Fund agreed to cover the cost of a state-of-the-art prosthetic leg for him. And upon receiving the good news, the team notified Ali’s employer, who confirmed that his job was waiting for him upon his discharge from hospital. Ali was able to return to work while he also began the lengthy process of physiotherapy and being fitted for a permanent prosthetic.
After making a full recovery and receiving his state-of-the-art prosthetic limb, Ali made the decision to return to his family in Bangladesh after working in the UAE for a number of years. “I am so happy with the help and support O’Shea and his team gave me during my stay. Thanks to CCAD and the Zakat Fund, I have been able to continue providing for my family. I am so grateful to them for saving my life and helping me get back on my feet. Now I hope to begin a new chapter of my life at home with my wife and children,” Ali said.