Abu Bakar Al Seddique being treated at the NMC Hospital at Dubai Investment Park. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: The first thing Abu Bakar Al Seddique plans to do when he returns home to Bangladesh is to seek the blessings of his mother.

Seddique, one of the survivors of a deadly road accident that claimed seven lives and critically injured 35 employees of Transguard Group on May 23, believes his mother’s love and prayers saved him.

“Two of my colleagues, Mohammad Sarwar and Mohammad Tahir, died in the accident and I feel it was my mother’s dua (blessings) that saved me. I was seated on the right side of the bus. Had I been on the left side like my friends I would have died like the others,” said the 30-year-old cleaner with the company.

Speaking to Gulf News from his isolation room at NMC Hospital in Dubai Investment Park, Seddique recalled the moments before the collision.

“There were sixty of us returning from night duty. The bus picked me up after my duty at a popular five star hotel at 6am. I was tired and dozed off during the ride. Suddenly I heard a loud bang and heard my colleague call out to me. Before I knew what was happening, I passed out.” recalled Seddique who had multiple fractures on his right leg and crush injuries.

Two surgeries and a fortnight later, Seddique thinks he is fortunate to survive. “I am lucky I was hurt only on my right leg. My friends lost their lives. Sarwar was a bachelor but Tahir had two children, both were breadwinners for their family,” said Seddique.

Seddique was brought to the hospital with multiple fractures on his right leg and heavy blood loss. He was rushed into surgery where he was given transfusion and operated for nearly 8 hours just to stabilise his leg.

Dr Mohammad Selim, specialist orthopaedic surgeon who operated on Seddique, told Gulf News: “The biggest challenge with Seddique was saving his limb as well as his life as he was brought in with huge blood loss and compound fractures. His life was at stake because of blood loss and usually in crush injuries the limb has to be amputated. He had a compound fracture of the tibia and the femoral shaft and the articular surface of the knee.”

A team of intensivists, orthopaedic surgeon, anaesthetist and nurses had to conduct immediate surgery to put external fixators to stabilise his limb.

“We sutured all torn ligaments, tendons and skin and put in a rod inside with external fixators on the outside, a surgery which took 8 hours to stabilise the tibia, the femur and the knee. After about 10 days we took out the fixator and applied nails to fix the tibia and femur and screws on the knee,” said Dr Selim.

The patient was given at least 8 units of bloods and pain killers and provided an isolation room to recover, said hospital administrator Dr Ashish Kumar Jaiswal.

Seddique is likely to stay in the hospital for another 10 days during which he is being provided physio therapy and will require at least two months of complete rehabilitation before he can report back to work.

Seddique hopes to get back to playing football once his leg is healed.

“The doctor has promised me that. My mother Tohrim cries every day when I speak to her and she is praying for my recovery. I speak to my wife Nasreen and my three brothers, the youngest is 14 years old. I was supporting every member of my family as my younger brothers are farmers and look after the family. From the Dh1, 000 I earn, very often I send 70 per cent home and some years ago I managed to save and send Dh12,000 for my brother to start a fishing business. I am waiting to get back to work as I know I have to put in at least a couple of years of more work in the UAE. If the fishing business goes well, I will be able to return home one day and help my brothers run it,” said Seddique with tears in his eyes.

Expressing satisfaction over the recovery of all the victims of this tragedy, Prasanth Manghat, CEO and Executive Director of the NMC Health Care said: “It gives us immense happiness that our acute care and emergency medicine programme, the only one across all health care facilities in South Dubai continues to save lives and serve communities. Life is fragile and precisou and NMC is committed to preserving and nurturing life.”

Manghat also expressed satisfaction that the both the health regulatory authority and the community had placed confidence in the hospital and transferred other victims of this accident from neighbouring hospitals for further treatment to NMC DIP.