Man left ‘paralysed’ after his legs ballooned to 110lbs following a parasitic worm infection five years ago
- Shahid Hussain suffers from elephantiasis, which has left him virtually bedridden
- He worries his limbs – which have a circumference of 88.9cm – will ‘paralyse’ him
- Cannot support his family after being forced to give up his job in a garage
A man’s legs have swelled to twice their size after he became infected with a parasitic worm five years ago.
Shahid Hussain, 38 – from the Naushahro Feroze district in the Sindh province of Pakistan – suffers from elephantiasis.
This causes parts of the body to enlarge due to a parasite infection that stops the lymphatic system from draining unwanted fluid and toxins from its tissues.
The father-of-five’s legs weigh an astonishing 110lbs (7st 12lbs) and have a circumference of 88.9cm (35inches), leaving him virtually bedridden and scared he will end up ‘paralysed’.
The former garage worker has ‘exhausted his savings’ after his condition left him unable to support his family.
He is appealing to the public and his local authority to pay for him to see a doctor outside of his small town.
Shahid Hussain’s legs have swelled to twice their size after he became infected with a parasitic worm five years ago. The 38-year-old (pictured) suffers from elephantiasis, which has left him virtually bedridden and forced him to give up his job working in a garage
Mr Hussain’s legs weigh an astonishing 110lbs (7st 12lbs) and leave the father-of-five daughters worried he end up ‘literally paralysed’. He is already unable to see his toes (seen right)
Speaking of how his suffering started, Mr Hussain said: ‘I was living my life quite normally but five years ago my legs started swelling.
‘Initially, I thought everything will be fine but now the disease has left me virtually bedridden and I can hardly walk.
‘I never imagined my condition will be like this – I will be literally paralysed.’
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Since being forced to give up work, Mr Hussain became dependent on his relatives to keep his home running.
His wife – Fatima Hussain – said: ‘We were having a good life but things have changed completely.
‘All our savings have [been] exhausted. The money we had saved for the marriage of our daughters is gone.
‘I sold my jewellery as well and we are dependent on our relatives now.
‘We don’t understand what to do.’
Unless treated, Mr Hussain worries his legs will continue to swell until he is ‘literally paralysed’. Doctors have so far told him his condition is too severe for them to treat and referred him to a hospital in the capital. But Mr Hussain cannot afford to make the journey for treatment
Mr Hussain’s legs have a huge circumference, measuring 88.9cm (35inches) around each limb
Mr Hussain has seen several doctors in the city of Karachi, however, the medics said his condition was too severe for them to treat.
‘A friend gave me some money so I [could] come to Karachi for treatment but [it was] all in vain,’ Mr Hussain said.
‘We met several doctors there but they told me there was not any treatment available for this condition in the city.’
He has been advised to go to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in the capital city of Islamabad, however, Mr Hussain’s family cannot afford to send him there.
‘We didn’t even have money to travel to Karachi, so how can we go to Islamabad, which is a costly city [where] we don’t know anyone who can help us?,’ his wife said.
‘We are hopeful people [will] take notice of Shahid’s condition and come forward [to] help.’
WHAT IS ELEPHANTIASIS?
Elephantiasis is defined as an impaired lymphatic system, resulting in abnormal enlargements of the body due to by a parasite infection from a mosquito bite.
Nearly 856 million people in 52 countries worldwide are at risk of developing elephantiasis, which is also known as lymphatic filariasis.
In 2000 over 120 million people were infected, of which around 40 million were disfigured and incapacitated by the disease.
Infection usually occurs during childhood.
This can result in tissue or scrotal swelling, as well as tissue thickening, in later life, leading to permanent disability and social isolation.
Elephantiasis is caused by adult parasitic worms lodging in the lymphatic system. Their larvae then further add to this problem.
Preventative chemotherapy can stop the spread of the infection by reducing the number of parasites in infected people’s bloodstreams.
Scrotal swelling is treatable via surgery.
Elephantiasis can be stopped from becoming worse by practicing good hygiene, exercising and elevating affected limbs.
Source: World Health Organization
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