An aspiring footballer is in constant pain due to a life-threatening condition that has caused his abdomen to bloat to 59 inches.
Bikash Hazarika, 21, from a remote village in Assam, northeast India, who weighs just 134lbs (61kg), cannot walk, sit or sleep because his belly has swelled to an enormous 22lbs (10kg).
For the past five years, Mr Hazarika has only been able to sleep in a seated position for one-and-a-half hours at a time, due to a condition known as congestive hepatomegaly.
Mr Hazarika said: ‘It feels like I am dying a slow death. My life was perfect before.
‘I am losing all hopes of being able to live enough to get a treatment. It is already very late.’
An aspiring footballer’s abdomen has bloated to 59 inches due to a life-threatening illness
No treatment to date has made any difference (pictured are the wrapper of all his medication)
WHAT IS CONGESTIVE HEPATOMEGALY?
Congestive hepatomegaly is a back up of blood into the liver due to severe heart failure.
This increases pressure in the veins, which can cause the liver to become engorged with blood.
Many patients have no symptoms.
Others suffer just mild abdominal discomfort.
In severe cases, sufferers may develop jaundice, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, an enlarged spleen and liver damage or scarring.
Treatment focuses on resolving heart failure to restore liver function.
Source: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
‘It feels like I am dying a slow death’
Two years ago, Mr Hazarika visited a specialist who diagnosed him with congestive hepatomegaly; where blood backs up into the liver due to heart failure.
Doctors told him surgery could save his life but it costs £7,300.
Unable to pay for the operation, Mr Hazarika returned home with his father Dilip, a contractual labour.
His father said: ‘I barely make £50 a month. It is impossible for me to make ends meet and feed five stomachs.
‘We have already sold off our home to arrange moeny for his monthly medicine expenses that comes [in at] around £6. We cannot do anything else. We have no source to arrange money for his surgery.’
Mr Hazarika and his family are relying on the Indian Government to fund his surgery.
He said: ‘It feels like I am dying a slow death. My life was perfect before.
‘I am losing all hopes of being able to live enough to get a treatment. It is already very late.
‘I wish that government notices my condition and comes forward and offer me a free treatment. I will not just be able to live a normal life but also start playing again and make my country proud.’
Mr Hazarika can only sleep in a seated position for one-and-a-half hours at a time
Unable to afford treatment, his family hope the Indian Government will fund his therapy
‘I tried everything but the pain did not fade’
Mr Hazarika said: ‘It has been several years now. I cannot sleep or walk. I spend my day sitting on a bamboo chair thinking about the day when I will get a cure.’
A talented footballer, Mr Hazarika was playing the sport five years ago, when he complained of severe stomach ache and collapsed to the ground in agony.
His symptoms were dismissed as a minor infection by a local doctor, who recommended he rest for a few weeks.
Mr Hazarika said: ‘It was excruciatingly painful. I could not breath. I tried everything but the pain did not fade.
‘My mother then took me to a local doctor who prescribed some medicines that did help for sometime but the pain was back again.’
Mr Hazarika was playing football when he complained of severe stomach ache and collapsed
A doctor dismissed his symptoms as a minor infection and told him to rest for a few weeks
Mr Hazarika later discovered he had suffered a heart attack, which led to his bloated belly
‘I have eaten every medicine’
Three months later, after suffering frequent breathlessness, Mr Hazarika visited another doctor who told him he had suffered a heart attack.
He had a pacemaker fitted, however, just one month later, fluid started collecting in his body, causing his stomach to bloat.
Mr Hazarika said: ‘For three months I suffered frequent breathlessness. I consulted a doctor in a government hospital where they said I had had a heart attack and due to that my heart beat rate has slowed down.
‘They placed a pacemaker inside my chest to help control the abnormal heart beats.
‘But one month after the pacemaker was placed, another medical problem arose. Fluid started collecting in my body, and stomach started swelling abnormally.
‘Since then, I have been having breathing issues and my stomach has growing bigger and bigger.’
In an attempt to cure his illness, Mr Hazarika has taken numerous medicines but none have relieved him of his swelled stomach.
He said: I have eaten every medicine, every pill a doctor has prescribed. But nothing worked. My belly is continually swelling.’