MUSCAT: Vijayan Manicketh, an Indian expatriate in Muscat, is 63 years old but he has been on the surgical table 70 times at different hospitals in Oman and India.
Now, he is getting ready for his 71st surgery.
Vijayan is suffering from Rhinosporidiosis, a rare disease, which primarily affects the mucosa of the nose. Its manifestation is a mass growing inside the affected cavity and the only treatment is surgical excision.
“From my toes to skull, unwanted growth happens regularly and the disease has been haunting me ever since I was 18 years old. Last year, I had three surgeries,” Vijayan added.
According to Vijayan, a single doctor in Kerala has done 30 surgeries on him. “Doctors said many patients have cell growth, but that they have not encountered anyone with systematic growth like mine,” he said, adding that it started as nasal Rhinosporidiosis and spread to other parts of the body.
According to medical reports, the number of surgeries is going up as his immune system is weakening with age.
Vijayan has tried various forms of medicines – allopathy, homeopathy, Ayurveda, naturopathy, Yoga and alternative medicines.
“The only solution, though temporary is laser surgery to burn the body growth,” he added.
“It is like a small berry growing throughout my body and comes out of the body and people find it odd, and I try to hide it by putting cotton in my nose,” he said.
“As the treatment is expensive in Muscat, I go to India three to four times every year for surgeries. Each surgery costs me about Rs50,000 and it has financially ruined me as well,” Vijayan added.
Vijayan has spent nearly OMR20,059 on the surgeries alone. “In addition to the surgery fee, I have spent more than OMR11,000 for medicines and all,” Vijayan added. Now the father of a 19 years old engineering student, Vijayan has even started giving counselling to other patients as he has been suffering from the strange disease for many years.