When he was wheeled in, his right foot hung from his leg, barely supported by a bundle of skin. Over 45 days later, the 27-year-old carpenter was able to leave the hospital with his foot intact following a series of surgeries, including a six-hour-long procedure to reattach his foot.
Even as nerve sensations are yet to fully return, doctors at Dr RN Cooper hospital are hopeful of a complete recovery. He currently uses a walker and his left leg to hop.
As he rests in his Juhu home, sharing a room with five others, the migrant from Assam, requesting anonymity, told The Indian Express that his foot accidentally got entangled in a concrete-cutting machine while working in Vile Parle East on September 15.
“I could only see my leg hanging from the rest of my body. But I did not faint,” he said. Local residents managed to take him to Dr RN Cooper hospital five hours after the mishap.
“We realised that we will have to conduct an urgent procedure to reattach the bone, blood vessels, tendons, nerves and skin. The challenge was to start blood circulation,” said Dr Nitin Ghag, head of plastic surgery department.
In a six-hour-long procedure, the carpenter underwent bone stabilisation by orthopaedician Dr Amit Joshi. A team of anaesthetist, general surgery, plastic surgery and orthopaedics reattached his bone, followed by tendons, vessels and nerves.
“When the leg turned pink, we realised the operation was successful,” Ghag said.
The blood flow had started. The carpenter remained in the intensive care unit for five days. Two weeks later, he underwent right foot nerve repair and skin grafting.
Doctors said since he stayed with several people in a single room, chances of infection were high.
The hospital decided to keep him admitted for over a month to minimise the risk of infection. His nerve sensations took two weeks to return, but he is yet to feel sensation in his entire foot.
“He is yet to start walking on his own. It will take time for the nerves to repair,” Ghag said, adding that the case is similar to Asmita Katkar’s.
Asmita died in the Andheri bridge collapse.
“We were able to salvage her hand that had got crushed in the mishap. But she passed away due to multiple medical complications,” Ghag said.
On Wednesday, a week after discharge, the 27-year-old came for a check-up at the hospital.