'We are proud of him, but we worry for his future,' say Mahad hero's parents

Updated: 28 September, 2020 08:31 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

As Mahad hero who saved several lives returns home today, family stares at uncertain future

Naveed Duste is likely to be discharged today; (right) Duste's parents Hafiz and Munira outside the hospital
Naveed Duste is likely to be discharged today; (right) Duste's parents Hafiz and Munira outside the hospital

"I wanted to lift my right leg; three days post my surgery. I asked my cousin to help me, but instead he started crying" that is when I realised my right leg was amputated, said Naveed Duste, the brave man who saved thirty plus lives before Tarique Garden, came down crashing on the evening of August 24, killing sixteen and nine were removed from debris, with minor to serious injuries.

On Monday, September 28, Naveed will be discharged from the hospital, but not sure how he will continue with his further treatment, which will cost him another Rs 4 lakhs... a day before his discharge, Naveed speak his heart out, and his worries about future, from room no. 7050, on the seventh floor of Apollo hospital, CBD Belapur, where he was admitted for a month.

"Every time, I look at my amputated leg, it is like a flash back of the happening, on that fateful evening. But at the same time, I also feel, it is only because of all those people whom I had saved minutes before the crash, their blessing and prayers, that Allah Tala gave me a new lease of life and I am alive today," said Naveed, speaking to MiDDAY.

Naveed Duste, an electrician, is the sole bread winner
Naveed Duste, an electrician, is the sole bread winner

On that evening, Naveed recalled, "I could sense, the building plasters were peeling off and I rushed inside B wing, to save my friend Sameer Pore's (31) family, first. I rushed to his house, and lifted two of his kids – Azhar (5) and Ziyan (2 ½), both were shivering and I could sense the fear in them, as I placed them outside the building at a safe place."

"And without thinking much, I sensed many more lives could get trapped, if I didn't swing into action, I rushed inside the B wing and one after the other, started getting people out of the building. I rushed to the fourth floor and found and old woman (later identified as Kulsum Bamne (75)), I took her in my arms, and I rushed to safety. She was so very thankful, that I realised, that life was so very precious and she was thankful for being able to save her life, she even blessed me for saving her life," recalled Naveed.

MiDDAY had in it is article titled "Mahad Building Crash: Naveed Risked His Life To Save Us, He Is Real Hero, Say Residents," dated August 28, had highlighted how residents of Tarique Garden, had applauded Naveed for his bravery and for saving maximum lives."

Naveed Duste
Naveed Duste

It was just seconds, before he could step out of the building, the building came down crashing and he could manage to push his friend mother Farida Pore, to safety, but had got his leg under the debris.

"It was thick smoke and I could not see anything. After sometime, I saw, my cousin Fahim Pathan, my half upper body was outside and my lower limbs were under the concrete debris. I screamed for Fahim, he along with other rushed to help me, but they were not able to move the debris as it was huge concretes," recalled Naveed.

He added, "I told Fahim, 'muje niche nahi rakna, warna mera saas atak jayega" (I told Fahim, not make me lie on the ground or else I will gasp for breathing)" I asked him (Fahim) to keep me holding in a sitting position, so that I could continue breathing. Fahim, placed my upper body, on his lap and he sat there, as other residents, used drill machines to separate the concrete slabs" Naveed added.

"Muje pata hai, mera pair toot gaya hai. Main nikhloonga bahar, (I was sure my legs were broken, but was sure that I will come out). Almost after over forty minutes, I was pulled out of the debris and when I regained my senses, three days later, I was in the hospital" recalled Naveed.

I was not knowing much when I was in the ICU, but when Fahim, came to my room, three days later, I asked him to help me lift my right leg, but he didn't respond. I again, asked him and he started to cry. And that very moment, I realised I do not have my right leg below knee, and that is when I learnt about the amputation.

Naveed is now satisfied, that his family and relatives stood with him, through out this testing period. "I was the sole bread winner for my family of four, but now with an amputated leg, I still wonder, if life will become normal. My son, Nayaan (7), is too small and wife Nasreen (28), do speak to me on video calls, but I will need to come back, and with all good wishes and prayers of people, I am sure this touch time, will also pass through," said Naveed, who at times get disturbed sleep.

Hafiz Duste, the father said, "We are proud of Naveed, he saved lives of innocent residents, but at the same time, we are worried about his future. He was the sole bread winner for us, and now with his treatment, yet to be completed, and with no source of income, I as father is bound to get worried. Hopefully, the people, will stand by him and support him."

Precaution at home

Parvez Kauchali, brother in law of Naveed said, "We have decided to take Naveed to his in laws house in Mumbra, where he will continue to stay till his treatment is going on at Apollo hospital. We have also instructed our families and relatives, not to visit Naveed, during his stay in Mumbra, as doctors have already advised to keep him infection free."

Already, we have kept a room ready for Naveed, where only he and his father Hafiz Duste, will stay. All other family members will have to adjust themselves in the living room. Also with Naveed, rented house in Mahad getting vacated, his entire family (parents, wife and son), are also residing at Mumbra flat.

When asked if the family has planned any special feast for Naveed, on his home coming, Parvez replied in negative, stating, "He (Naveed) is yet under treatment, and we will follow, all the directives of his treating doctor. We are all excited of his discharge from hospital, but will be following strict health directives from hospital."

Treating expert speak

Dr Prashant Agrawal, Consultant, Orthopaedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon at Apollo hospital, confirmed that Naveed will get discharged on Monday (September 28), we are satisfied with his prognosis and he will need to revisit the hospital after ten days for the suture to be removed and for re-dressing the wounds.

Dr Agrawal, recalled, "Had Naveed, been brought in within the golden hours of six hours on the very day of incident, we could have put in all efforts to salvage his right leg, which had sustained both crush and muscle injuries, including the back of the knee with arteries getting impacted adversely. A CT- angiogram, was conducted and it clearly showed the extent of damage. Dr Shantesh Kaushik, Carido Thoracic and Vascular Surgeon, had similar view, and due to the cumulative nature of the injuries, the same was not salvageable. However, we could still save a major portion of his leg and did the amputation below the knee."

Apart from the right knee, Naveed also had left foot fracture and it would take atleast two months for healing. Naveed did had post-surgery infection of the amputated leg, which is common, and with Vac dressing, he is stable, the doctor explained.

"In future, when both his legs are healed, we will go for prosthetic limb, below the right amputated knee, which is comparatively cheaper than above thigh area, which become costlier. We will call Naveed for physiotherapy and he may need a rehabilitation program to survive with a prosthetic limb, which will help him to do all his routine like before," explained Dr Agrawal.

Dr Agrawal has a word of caution for people, in case of any building collapse or any accident, as far as possible mobilise the patient should be mobilised to nearest speciality centre within the golden hours of six hours, so that the limbs can be saved, with effective corrective surgeries.

The need of the hour is that even health care centres, especially in rural areas, need to have few specialised doctors available, where such procedures could be done to save the body part other than the life, which is equally precious, the doctor opined.

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First Published: 28 September, 2020 07:22 IST

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