Until last year, Captain Rajeeb Mahmud Babu of the Bangladesh army had heavyweight issues, literally. The 26-year-old was expelled from the forces because he weighed 174 kg. Local doctors told him he had months to live. Today, a year after one of Mumbai’s top bariatric surgeons operated on him, Babu weighs 90 kg and looks forward to a second crack at life
Former Bangladesh armed forces officer, Captain Rajeeb Mahmud Babu (26) weighed a staggering 174 kilos in February last year when he was expelled from the army for being overweight. “I could hardly move, felt lethargic through the day and couldn’t even tie my shoelaces,” recalls Babu, speaking to sunday mid-day. Local doctors told him his heart was functioning only at 25 per cent of the regular rate and he would not live long.
The Weight’s off his mind: (Left) Captain Rajeeb Mahmud Babu at 174 kg last year. (Right) Now, after bariatric surgery, Babu weighs 90 kg
As a last ditch attempt, he sought out Dr Shashank Shah in Mumbai. A miraculous bariatric surgery followed in April 2013. Today, he is 84 kgs lighter and is looking at a new life ahead.
Speaking to sunday mid-day from Bangladesh, the former Captain sounded emotionally charged when he said, “I am thankful to Dr Shah for giving me a new lease of life. At 90 kg, I look much fitter. In Dr Shah I have found another father.”
Rajeeb’s father Mahmud Babu was an army officer as was his grandfather. He joined the army at 16 and after graduating from the National Defence College in Bangladesh, he became an officer. At that time he weighed 98 kg. “At 19, I won the army heavyweight boxing championship, but my weight kept increasing,” he says.
In 2012, his commander warned him that if he doesn’t lose his flab, he will lose his job. However, his weight jumped from 127 to 155 kgs and ultimately in April 2013, it reached 174. He was expelled and doctors gave him an ultimatum too.
“Due to increased level of potassium in his body, Rajeeb would feel drowsy and fall asleep,” recalled Dr Shah.
“My doctor in Bangladesh suggested I meet Dr Shah of Laparo Obeso Centre in Pune, since he was also the president of the Obesity Surgery Society of India,” Rajeeb said.
On April 5, 2013 Rajeeb and his family came to India and met Dr Shah. The surgery was conducted on April 15. “Rajeeb could not even walk through the door. But just three months after the surgery he weighed 116 kg and his heart started functioning at 40 percent.
By end of 2013, he was half his size,” recalls Dr Shah, adding, “As a surgeon I could anticipate that the only way to improve his cardiac function was to treat his morbid obesity and the fluid retention due to his heart disease. It was the faith of the family in me, which gave me the courage to accept this case.”
Health report card of Rajeeb on April 15, 2013 before surgery
Weight: 173.80 kg
Blood Pressure: 170/94
Pulse (Heart beat) 114 per minute
>>Poor vision due to high blood pressure
>> Multiple ulcers in mouth
>> Both feet were swollen
>> Breathless and drowsy