43 years in wheel­chair on wrong di­ag­no­sis

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

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