BY Taniya Dutta
A desperate man who has been left bed-bound by his 21 STONE leg is pleading with doctors to amputate the gigantic limb. .
Muhammad Mushtaq, 40, has been diagnosed with elephantiasis – a condition which has caused his leg to dramatically swell to over 10 times its usual size.
After contracting the condition due to a parasite infection, Muhammad’s lymphatic system has now stopped draining unwanted fluid and toxins from its tissues.
Muhammad’s leg now weighs 21st 4lbs [330lbs] and as he struggles to leave his bed at his home in Gujranwala, Pakistan, his overall weight has ballooned to 47st.
The former butcher is now appealing to the government to pay for him to see a doctor outside of his small town.
Muhammad said: “This is extremely painful for me, I have to depend on others for my basic needs.
“I am locked in my room the entire day and I need the help of six people to life me because of my weight.
“If there is no treatment that can save my leg that’s fine, I want my 21 stone leg amputated if that’s the case though.
“I’m appealing to the government to provide me treatment.”
Since being forced to give up work, Muhammad, who recently lost his parents, depends on his sisters-in-laws and one brother to help care for him.
Muhammad first noticed a lump on his left leg two years ago but after ignoring it for three months, it grew rapidly and he was no longer able to hide it under clothes.
He added: ” I was living a normal life until two years ago.
“I noticed a small lump around my left thigh just below the hips.
“It was very small at first and because of the fear of embarrassment, I didn’t show it to anyone.
“Gradually it started growing and within three months it grew so big that I couldn’t hide it anymore.
“I went to see a local family doctor who asked me to go to Lahore or Karachi for proper check-up.”
Muhammad later went to Mayo Clinic in Lahore, Punjab, 50 miles away from his hometown, for treatment but he claims he was told his condition was so severe that a surgery could be life-threatening.
He said: “I was highly disappointed when doctors told me a surgery could kill me.
“They gave me medicines to treat fungal infection but said there was no way to treat the condition as the infection had reached the veins and I could lose blood in surgery.”
Muhammad’s neighbour, Dr Ruman-ul-Haq, however, is helping him get in touch with specialists who could treat his condition.
Dr Ruman-ul-Haq said: “Mushtaq lives in my neighbourhood and I have known him since my childhood.
“He was depressed after doctors told him that his operation is not possible as it could be life-threatening and that surgery could lead to blood loss.
“We have heard of Professor Naushad from Civil Hospital in Karachi who treated a similar patient Essa Pallari. This has given Mohammed hope that we will find his treatment somewhere.”