Mumbai: A man weighing 190 kg could finally move out of his third floor tenement in south Mumbai Sunday after five years of staying indoors when the main door and a wall was broken and a dozen fire brigade personnel lifted him down the staircase on a special stretcher.
Nizar Ahmed, 53, was gently placed in a waiting ambulance below. The entire exercise took almost an hour. He is slated for a weight-loss surgery at Breach Candy Hospital Monday.
Doctors treating Ahmed sought the help of the fire brigade to bring him out of his third floor tenement in the congested Muslim-dominated neighbourhood in Dongri.
"We needed a device to bring him down to the ambulance. There was no way Ahmed could descend the narrow staircase of his over a century-old rickety building himself," said Sanjay Borude, the bariatric surgeon who will operate on Ahmed.
Ahmed, who yearns to go to a mosque to pray, said the first thing he will do after a successful surgery is offer thanksgiving namaz as the holy month of Ramadan is currently underway.
He was a cashier and manager of a restaurant five years back when he started gaining weight.
"Being a cashier is a big responsibility. I used to stand at the counter of the restaurant for 16-18 hours a day and could hardly move from the spot," Ahmed said before he was moved out of his house.
"I could take time off to go to the toilet barely once a day, holding my bladder with full force. This resulted in accumulation of uric acid in my system and gradually the toxic acid gnawed away at my bones, making it impossible for me to move around without pain," he said.
He was 140 kg when he was finally compelled to quit his job five years ago.
The weight-loss surgery will cost Ahmed around Rs.3.5 lakh. "I could not afford the cost of the surgery. Hence, I was looking around for financial help. Luckily for me, state Samajwadi Party president Abu Asim Azmi stepped in like an angel and has offered to bear the full cost," he said.
"The doctors at Breach Candy hospital also made attempts to help me gather the necessary funds for the major surgery," he added.
Ahmed cannot stand up for even a minute now. He has also developed complications like gout, leading to severe pain in the joints. He is also suffering from hypertension, but luckily not diabetes which will make the surgery a less complicated affair.
Ahmed`s family comprises his wife Hasina, who works as a cook at nearby homes, son Ijaz, a Class 12 student who works part time to supplement the family`s income, and daughter Afifah, a Class 6 student.
Afifah hopes that someday her father would be able to visit her school and meet her teachers.
During the last five years, Ahmed spent all his time sitting or lying on the bed either watching TV, praying or simply looking upwards and hoping that some angel would come and give him respite from this misery.
Fortunately for him, a TV programme on obesity which he watched a few weeks ago showed him the way and finally to Borude of Breach Candy Hospital who readily agreed to take up the challenging assignment.
Borude claimed that the surgery would involve cutting open and sealing of nearly two-thirds of his stomach, which would reduce its intake capacity.
Thereafter, gradually within a year, Ahmed would shed his weight and come to a manageable 90 or 100 kg, with no possibility of further weight gain.
Ahmed said as he could not move out of his bed or home, the doctor and his team members regularly visited him for the past few weeks before finalising his surgical procedure, slated for Monday.