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Mohammad Shakeel Khan who had his leg amputated because of diabetes at his home in Sharjah. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Sharjah: A Pakistani expat in Sharjah whose leg was amputated is looking for a job so he can rebuild his life.

Once a maintenance manager at a large foodstuff company, Mohammad Shakeel Khan had to undergo an amputation of his left leg above the knee due to complications from diabetes.

Khan, 67, said he has no money for a prosthetic leg, which he said will cost him a minimum of Dh38,000 in the UAE. In Pakistan, a prosthetic leg will cost him the equivalent of around Dh15,000, the father-of-two added. Khan came to the UAE 43 years ago.

What happened to Khan?

Khan’s troubles began last February when he developed blisters under his left foot. His condition was treated multiple times but it kept relapsing. In August, Khan was hospitalised for COVID-19. In September his foot wound started bleeding when he returned home. He was then admitted to a government hospital in Sharjah where doctors told him his leg had to be amputated to save his life, Khan said.

‘It had spread too far’

“There was no other solution; the gangrene [infection] had spread too far up inside the leg. I had to loose my leg. I’ve been more or less confined to my bed for almost six months now because I don’t have an artificial leg,” he added.

“If I can get an artificial leg, I can look for a job again. I’m a hard worker by nature, I barely ever took rest when I was working. I don’t like to stay home like this. We’re not rich and sooner or later I will have to work again. But I can’t do much just on these crutches.”

Khan lives with his wife and daughter, who is a junior teacher, in Sharjah’s Al Ghubaiba area. His other daughter is married and lives in Ajman.

Early days

Khan, an engineer, had first come to the UAE from Karachi in 1978 as a refrigeration supervisor for a well-known ice cream brand. He then worked for a foodstuff company for over three decades. In 2018, the company closed as the owner absconded, Khan said, leaving him with no gratuity. Khan survived by doing odd jobs in the refrigeration and food transport sector. However, his ailments and subsequent amputation have left him with no employment or income, Khan said.

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Mohammad Shakeel Khan who had his leg amputated because of diabetes, at his home in Sharjah. Photo: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Struggle for survival

Khan added that he has no debt. His operation’s cost is being settled by a Sharjah charity but the support does not cover prosthetics or physiotherapy, Khan said. Meanwhile, Khan has to pay six months’ house rent worth around Dh19,000.

“I never had a high salary — my last salary was Dh6,500 — but I never let myself fall into debt. I made sacrifices here and there to keep the household running. In over four decades of my life in the UAE, we never got a chance to see Abu Dhabi or Al Ain together as a family. I was too busy with work and money was always tight. But all I want now is a chance to stand on my own again,” Khan said.