Dad's Leg Swelled And He's Now Disabled, All Because Of Mosquito Bite

One dad in India got a mosquito bite about four years ago, and he might never have thought twice about it. Unfortunately, that little bite resulted in a major, life-changing condition. The dad can't even work anymore because his leg has swelled to four times its original size.

Chetan Pithadia says about four years ago, he noticed his left leg was starting to swell. He initially went to the doctor and they gave him some medication, but it didn't help.

The 53-year-old man's leg just continued to get bigger and bigger. He was a garment worker, but the size of his leg began to interfere with his mobility so much that he had to quit. Over a period of four years, his leg continued to bulge and balloon until it weighed a whopping 55 pounds.

In comparison, an average human's leg weighs about 25 pounds.

Pithadia was diagnosed with elephantitis, or 'elephant disease', so named because of the way it causes misshapen limbs to resemble a large elephant's leg. The disease is caused by parasitic filarial worms.

The worms are carried by mosquitos. The modern technical name for the disease is lymphedema filariasis. The parasitic larvae enter the body with a mosquito bite and cause dilation of the lymph vessels.

Elephantitis usually affects the legs and genitals. The skin of the infected area becomes thick, rough, saggy and discolored due to excessive pockets of fluid under the skin. The skin can also become ulcerated, putting people at risk of infection.

The condition can be fatal, particularly if blood vessels are damaged as it progresses. The condition has spread from Mr. Pithadia's lower leg to his thigh. If it continues on into his abdomen, he may die.

"My condition is getting worse by the day," says Pithadia. The father of two is now reaching out for help. He hasn't been able to work, so he's unable to afford treatment. He's also unable to afford the 1,200-mile trip from his home to the Institute of Applied Dermatology in Kerala, where he can receive that treatment.

"I have recently discovered a probable cure at a hospital in Kerala," he says. "But the process requires admitting me to hospital for a month three times, and I will need medicines for around two years."

The family is trying to raise $4,600 in order to travel to the hospital and pay for initial treatments, and he started an online fundraiser. On his fundraiser page, Pithadia presents all his medical documents, as well as photos of his grossly deformed leg.

The photos show how the condition has drastically worsened over the last four years. Thus far, the man has only raised about a tenth of his goal. He’s begging for help before he runs out of time.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: SWNS

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