43 years in wheelchair on wrong diagnosis
A PORTUGESE man spent 43 years in a wheelchair because of a mistaken medical diagnosis, finally relearning to walk only in his 50s.
When Rufino Borrego was 13, he was diagnosed by a Lisbon hospital as having incurable muscular dystrophy, the Jornal de Noticias reported on September 25.
After that he used a wheelchair to get around for more than four decades – until a neurologist realised in 2010 that he in fact suffered from a different disease that weakens the muscles, myasthenia.
The rare disease can be treated simply by taking asthma medication – and just a year after his new diagnosis, Mr Borrego was able to walk for the first time to his usual neighbourhood cafe.
Now aged 61, Mr Borrego is able to live a normal life, requiring only two physiotherapy sessions a year.
He insists he harbours no illfeelings against the hospital that made the original diagnosis, acknowledging that myasthenia was almost unknown in the medical profession in the 1960s.
“I just want to make use of my life,” he said. –