Dubai: An athletic Lebanese resident, who is into powerlifting and kickboxing, suffered a bad crush injury in a car accident in Dubai, but is back in action after two years of medical treatment.
“Yes, I am powerlifting again, doing 80-100kg, although that’s still 50 per cent of what I could do earlier,” Nizar Mistrah told Gulf News.
The 33-year-old Dubai resident said he was driving home from a desert camp in the wee hours of January 29, 2022 when he briefly dozed off and crashed his car.
“It must have been around 3.30am. My eyes must have closed for a split second when the car hit the pavement. The vehicle flipped over, the door at the driver’s seat flew away and my left hand was crushed as it lay outside.”
He said strangers coming in a car behind contacted the police and the ambulance, who were on the spot within minutes, rushing him to the nearest hospital in south Dubai.
Mistrah said, “I really want to thank the people in the car who called for help. I just wish I knew who they were.”
He said he had other people to thank as well – particularly the doctors at King’s College Hospital London - Dubai, who repaired his hand and put it back to use.
Mistrah said the hand injury devastated him as he is an active sportsperson. Besides powerlifting and kickboxing, he is into Muay Thai as well and is an avid swimmer and runner.
“My left hand was completely degloved with no skin left behind in the crash. You could see the tendons exposed as I lost my tissue and my hand dripped with blood but I am fortunate that’s behind me now,” he added.
Dr Yasser Khattab, Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgeon at King’s College Hospital London-Dubai, said, “When the patient approached me, his hand was crushed. The joint of his wrist was open. The extensor tendons running just underneath the skin along the back of the hands and wrists were impacted. There was loss of soft tissue in his thumb, index finger and middle finger with the bone being exposed. The hand was swollen and infected.”
He said Mistrah was admitted to the hospital and was wheeled into the operation theatre where he was put under general anesthesia and the wound addressed. “It was first debrided and cleaned and then a tendon graft was taken from an extra tendon in his forearm to reconstruct the extensor tendons in his thumb, index and middle fingers. Two stages of groin flap reconstruction were also done over the next two weeks.”
Once the healing was completed, Mistrah underwent physiotherapy and rehabilitation. “It has been nearly a year now and he can do most of the sports activities he was involved in,” said Dr Yasser.
Mistrah says there were three major lessons he learnt from the whole experience.
“First and foremost, never drive when you are tired. It is as dangerous as drunk driving. Second, listen to your doctor when you are under treatment. And third, be patient and positive – the road to recovery is long, but never lose hope,” he said.