June 3 fire victim still on admission 4 years after disaster; appeals for support
Written by Saltfmonline.com on June 11, 2019
A victim of the June 3, 2015 disaster, Mr Kassim Suraj, who is still on admission at the 37 Military Hospital four years after the calamity, has appealed for public support to enable him to finance his remaining surgeries.
His outstanding medical bills amounted to GH¢27,000 which covers surgical procedures and post-operative management.
But he must find resources to finance new surgeries in Europe or North America.
He told the Daily Graphic that his financial situation was so bad that he could not afford to pay GH¢400 for spectacles which would protect his damaged eyes from getting worse.
Doctors say Mr Suraj still requires some scar revisions and other surgeries to correct the partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows, a condition known as alopecia.
These surgeries — including hair transplant surgeries — are best performed at plastic and reconstructive surgery units in Europe and North America, a letter by the 37 Military Hospital and available to the Daily Graphic said.
According to his medical report, the 40-year-old father of four, who lost his wife and child in Ghana’s worst tragedy in recent memory that claimed more than 150 lives, suffered about 60 per cent total surface burns with inhalation injury.
His burns were described as mixed thick burns, and he had since undergone eight surgeries that covered skin grafts and various corrective and reconstructive surgeries in four years. He is currently being prepared for other surgeries.
As a result of his condition, doctors say Mr Suraj has many more days to spend in the theatre under the knife, but he said the previous surgeries had left him penniless, as it would be impossible for him to fund the remaining surgeries.
With his face totally disfigured and a tube sucking out discharge from his head into a container in his pocket, he said he was motivated to live because of his wife who unknown to him at the time, also died in the horrific accident with their seven-year-old child.
“As we speak, I feel a lot of pain because the tube has been connected to my brain. They remove it at 6 p.m. every day to remove the discharge and wash. Sometimes I struggle to sleep,” he told the Daily Graphic wiping tears from his face.
Mr Suraj was initially discharged by the hospital 10 months after the fire disaster that swept over large portions of the area around the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, but in 2017 while on his routine thrice-a-week dressing to the hospital, doctors noticed that there was discharge coming from his head.
“It was like the liquid that comes out of a boil when it breaks,” he said.
That began another journey of two years on admission in the hospital since 2017, but he doesn’t know when he would be discharged because according to the doctors, “there are more surgeries to be done”.