Swapan Gazi, a battery-run rickshaw puller, can now finally walk on both his legs after 35 years.
Now aged 45, Gazi, hailing from Khulishaduli area of Chandpur Sadar upazila, had been living the life of a physically challenged person since he suffered an injury in his right leg 35 years before.
"My leg got burnt from the knee and below in an accident. After that my leg became bent and I could not walk properly, and I have been living through immense hardship for it. Due to financial constraints I could not afford better treatment. Recently I began driving a battery-run rickshaw to earn my livelihood," Gazi said.
"Over time, my condition was getting worse and I went to the 25-bed Chandpur General Hospital for treatment on October 8," he said.
"A team of surgeons from the hospital's orthopedic department assured me of completely free treatment, including surgery of my leg, considering my financial hardship. Following surgery and rehabilitation, I can now walk normally," a happy Swapan told The Daily Star.
"In medical terms, the patient was suffering from a condition known as post-burn contracture, tightening of the skin around a burnt area. As a result his leg bent from knee, and he has been toiling with this condition for long 35 years," said Anisur Rahman Suhi, a physician of the hospital's orthopedic department.
"His condition had turned to Marjolin ulcer and was deteriorating, becoming cancerous. Following his diagnosis, we formed a medical board of the hospital with senior consultant of the orthopedic department Dr Shahadat Hossain and assistant registrar Farid Ahmed and began his treatment," he said.
"Initially we removed the burnt portion of his leg through a complex surgical procedure. Then we sent samples from the area to Dhaka for biopsy to know whether it had become malignant. The report said there was no cancer cell."
"After this we followed up with the patient regularly and conducted skin grafting in the second stage of the procedure. Now he has completely recovered and is able to walk normally and comfortably," Dr Sufi also said.
"Swapan Gazi can now walk normally, which was like a dream to him for long 35 years. Such a complicated medical condition would have cost him around Tk 3 lakh anywhere else. But we did not let him spend a single penny at this hospital," said Dr Shahadat Hossain, senior orthopedic consultant at the hospital.
"Rather, the hospital bore all expenses of his treatment. Now we are also happy to see smile in his face. This feels like the pleasure from winning a battle," he added.