The 60-year-old from Razole in Konaseema was operated on to remove a tumour on his jaw but has alleged that the surgery impacted his mental and physical ability to work.

laxman rao's pass port size photo taken in before operation Laxman Rao
news Diaspora Wednesday, January 25, 2023 - 17:48

A 60-year-old man from Andhra Pradesh, fighting a case of allegedly faulty medical treatment in Kuwait, is resting his hope on the compensation amount that will help him reunite with the family back in Razole, a town in Dr Ambedkar Konaseema district. Laxman Rao moved to Kuwait in 2015 where he was employed as a domestic worker but was unable to continue in his job after a year. Rao suffered from constant toothache, limiting his ability to work. 

He went to the nearby polyclinic, a government facility, since he couldn't take the pain. Laxman says his condition did not improve despite taking the prescribed tablets, and he made a return visit. He was diagnosed with a tumour on his jaw. 

“They informed me that I needed surgery. I was afraid of surgery and planned to have it done in India but an infection developed and I was forced to return to the hospital. For surgery, they referred me to a hospital which is larger,” Laxman told TNM. He underwent the surgery in 2016.

The services were provided for free as it was a government hospital and Laxman underwent surgery. The doctors also operated on his leg as part of the reconstructive surgery on his jaw from where the tumour was removed. It took more than a year for Laxman to realise that his surgery was a failure. Two years after the surgery, his condition worsened and his legs became weak and thin.

His friend and roommate Subbu says, “Laxman is unable to eat and breathe comfortably. He is always tired.” Laxman claims he has so far spent at least Rs three lakh fighting the two hospitals. 

“I have three children who are uneducated and work in low-wage jobs. I sold everything to raise funds to fight the case,” said Laxman, adding that the surgery negatively impacted his mental and physical capabilities. His elder sons had to drop out of college due to a lack of funds. His youngest son attends college in a nearby town. If the hospitals agree to settle out of court, he hopes he would receive enough compensation that would help him return to India.

Venkata Mahalaxmi, Laxman Rao's wife, is worried because she hasn't seen her husband ever since he left India in 2015. “People make fun of our situation because my husband has not been home for so long and this has impacted the children. He sent us money regularly in the initial years, we got a loan and my father also gave some money with which we built a small house in the village. However, the situation has changed drastically over time. He rarely sends us money, and we are struggling to make ends meet here,” Mahalaxmi said. Laxman's surgically altered facial features and physical weakness make people hesitant to hire him, she said.

Laxman Rao's after surgery

The family at home was devastated when Mahalaxmi's father, who provided for them both financially and emotionally, passed away two years ago. “When my father was there, it was not challenging. He served as the family's head in a sense. Paying for my younger son's bus fare has become a significant financial burden,“ she said.

The plight of Laxman Rao came to light after Shaheen Sayyed, a human rights activist and district secretary of Congress committee in Mira Bhayandar shared a video of him. Shaheen told TNM that she helped him access a lawyer. “The Adan police station has given a report that there was no mistake on part of the doctor in handling the case. I have seen the man personally, he is unable to move his neck also. All he is seeking is justice as the operation has restricted his capacity to work and eventually impacted his income,” said Shaheen.

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