Dr Yassir Jassim Mohammad with Maradona Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dr Yassir Jassim Mohammad, specialist urologist and head of the department of Urology at the Canadian Hospital Dubai, cannot forget the day he operated on football icon Diego Armando Maradona. “It was January 16, 2019, when Maradona came to us with severe pain in his left flank,” reminisced Dr Mohammad.

Dr Mohammad, an Iraqi expatriate, was 18 years old when Maradona scored that legendary goal against England in the 1986 Mexico World Cup. “Like millions of others, for me, Maradona was my hero. Having a star under my care was a first for me. I was stressed and I could see the buzz he had created in the hospital. I had to operate on him, so I was nervous and excited.”

Operating on the legend

Investigations carried out by Dr Mohammad revealed the football icon had a stone in is left ureter blocking the kidney. Within an hour, Maradona underwent a minimal invasive surgery for stone removal and unblocking of the ureter. “Maradona was an amazing patient, he came in at 4pm and underwent surgery at 7 pm. By 11pm, while resting at the hospital, he was already watching a football match between Sharjah and Baniyas. I was impressed by his dedication as he could not miss the match since he was then the coach of UAE team Al Wasl. He took his job very seriously despite being indisposed,” recalled Dr Mohammad.

A truly humble and dedicated person

Maradona stayed at the hospital for three days. Dr Mohammad said the entire hospital staff came in batches to meet him. “I was struck by his humility and modesty. He never disappointed anyone and met every nurse, doctor and hospital staff with the same smile, patience and enthusiasm,” said Dr Mohammad who was heartbroken by the news of Maradona’s death.

Dr Muhammad further said that Maradona kept in touch with the hospital for the follow-up on his surgery and continued to come in for other consultations with dermatologists and dentists for a year.

“We, at the Canadian Hospital, felt honoured that he chose us and placed his trust on us. Every time he would come in for a consultation he would never forget to drop in at my room to say hello. I felt blessed and will always cherish that memory.” said Dr Mohammad.