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Saturday, June 9, 2018

UAE-based Indian expat loses hands, feet after minor infection!

  • He was treated for an infection but fell unconscious the next day.
Life can change in an instant and it did for an Abu Dhabi-based expat who lost both his hands and legs following an unsuspecting small injury at work.

Gurbinder Singh Arjan Singh from the state of Punjab in India worked as a crane operator for a private company in Abu Dhabi. On February 24, Singh injured his knee at the company site on Zirku Island, which is some 140km away from the Capital. He was treated at a nearby clinic but the next day, developed infection and fell unconscious. On February 26, he was airlifted from the island to Mafraq Hospital."I was working at the site from February 14. I injured my left knee while climbing a crane. At Mafraq Hospital, I was kept in the intensive care unit. My kidney had failed and blood pressure dipped. I was 99 per cent dead and was given heavy dosage of medicine to stay alive. But by first week of March, my hands and legs turned black. By second week of April, doctors told me that amputation was needed to save my life. I don't know how all this happened from a small injury," the 42-year-old said from his room in Baniyas.

According to medical report from Mafraq Hospital doctor, Singh was diagnosed with septic shock (a serious medical condition following an infection) and severe left knee necrotising cellulitis (bacterial infection), which required surgical removal of foreign material and dead tissue from injury to prevent the spread of infection.

"He developed dry gangrene on both hands and legs. He was reviewed by plastic and vascular surgeons, and they advised amputation," internal medicine consultant Dr Haytham Taha said.

Terminated from job

Singh was discharged on May 14 but adding to his woes, his employer terminated his services.

"Since 2013, I have worked at various sites of the company. My termination letter with effect from May 10 said 'work completion' as the reason. My final settlement was put at Dh5,750. My visa is valid till January 2019 and the Daman insurance card has validity till February 2019."

The company on its part, provided initial hotel accommodation after his discharge. Now, some of the staff members are contributing to help him.

"We are making our little contributions from office for him. I don't think there is more help coming from the company. He is yet to receive his insurance claim. I hope help reaches him," one of the company staff said.

So far, members of Young Men's Christian Association Abu Dhabi have offered assistance and a few community members have contributed towards present accommodation and rent.

Couple stares at uncertain future

Singh's wife Rajwinder Kaur flew in on a visit visa last month from Punjab. She is devastated and clueless about paperwork needed to get insurance amount.

"We have stopped schooling of our children as paying fees isn't possibile now.

They stay with my relatives now. We had taken loan back in Jalandhar to build a small house and are unable to pay it back now. I don't know what to do or whom to meet. This is a new country and unfamiliar situation," Rajwinder said while breaking down.

Singh is still hopeful there will be some respite coming for him.

"My life has ended but I want to secure lives of my children. I hope the UAE and Indian governments see my plight.

"We are clueless about the way forward. I can't sign papers or hold onto a walking stick. I can't take a step or hug my kids anymore. I am as good as dead," Singh said.

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