A welder in Dubai found to have three potentially deadly conditions was saved after a string of life-saving operations.
Doctors diagnosed P Shajikuttan, 48, from India, with a torn oesophagus, a leaking, infectious aneurysm in his thoracic aorta and then a blood clot in one leg.
Each condition, considered life-threatening on its own, required separate operations to rectify, one lasting six hours.
Mr Shajikuttan was taken to Aster Hospital, Mankhool, on March 23 in a semi-conscious state after he suddenly vomited blood and collapsed.
“By the time Shajikuttan reached the hospital, he had lost a lot of blood,” said Dr Senthilnathan TT, a vascular and endovascular surgeon at Aster Hospital, Mankhool.
“He was in haemorrhagic shock, so we could not get much details. So our first attempt was to stabilise the patient.”
A chest x-ray revealed a widened mediastinum, indicating the presence of an aneurysm in his throat.
“He was swiftly subjected to a CT scan, which revealed the massive infectious aneurysm that had started leaking,” said Dr Senthilnathan.
“The aneurysm was about to rupture. If it had ruptured, the patient would have died.”
Mr Shajikuttan had surgery to repair the blood vessel but fluid had built up around his heart.
A second procedure, called pericardiocentesis, was used to drain it, said Dr Naveed Ahmed, the hospital’s consultant interventional cardiologist.
The next day, blood was found in Mr Shajikuttan’s oesophagus.
“Detailed investigation revealed that there was a tear on the oesophagus caused by aorto-oesophageal fistula,” said Dr Amal Premchandra Upadhyay, a consultant gastroenterologist.
“It is a life-threatening condition that causes gastrointestinal bleeding. It was the result of the infection aortic aneurysm.
“We fixed it using a stent in the aorta and CT scans showed no leakage of the oesophagus.”
Mr Shajikuttan responded to treatment and showed progress, but doctors found something unexpected.
“There was no pulse in his right leg. A thorough check-up found a complicated thrombosis in his femoral artery,” said Dr Senthilnathan.
“He again underwent surgery to rectify this. There were multiple blood clots in his femoral artery. We cleared all those.”
It is rare that a patient presents with multiple conditions each life-threatening by itself, Dr Senthilnathan said.
“Shajikuttan’s condition was very bad. Thankfully, he was brought at the right time and received the proper treatment. We are so happy to see him recovering fast,” the doctor said.
Mr Shajikuttan has been recovering at the hospital in Mankhool, Bur Dubai.
On Thursday he was due to be discharged and fly to Kerala, to realise the dream of seeing his daughter marry.
“I do not know what to say. I can only thank God and the doctors at Aster for giving me this second chance at life,” Mr Shajikuttan said.
“I cannot even remember what happened to me. It all happened suddenly.
“I want to attend my daughter’s marriage. That is my only dream now. The doctors here have made that possible. My family and I will forever be indebted to them.”