42-year-old Gurbinder Singh, Indian expatriate, is facing a grim future in the UAE after he lost both his hands and legs to an infection caused after an accident during work for a private company.
Singh has been working as a crane operator for the company since 2013.
On February 24, he injured his left knee at the company site on Zirku Island, some 140 km off the capital Abu Dhabi.
He was first treated at the company’s on-site clinic where the next day he developed the infection and fell unconscious. On February 26, he was airlifted to the super-specialty Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi, Khaleej Times reported.
“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,” Singh said.
“But by the first week of March, my hands and legs turned black. By the 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,” he added.
According to a medical report from the hospital, 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 infection from spreading.
“He developed dry gangrene on both hands and legs. He was reviewed by plastic and vascular surgeons, and they advised amputation,” Dr Haytham Taha of the Mafraq Hospital said.
Singh was discharged from the hospital on May 14 and soon got to know that his employer has 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,” Singh was quoted as saying in the report.
The company, on its part, provided initial hotel accommodation after his discharge, even as some of the staff members were now contributing to help Singh, it said.
Faced with financial difficulties, Singh is hoping that the governments of the UAE and India take note of his plight.
Singh’s wife Rajwinder Kaur last month reached the UAE, where she finds herself “clueless” about the paperwork needed to claim the insurance amount.
The UAE is home to 2.8 million Indian expatriates, the largest expatriate community in the country, according to official data.
(With PTI inputs)