At just six weeks of age Durjoy was fed acid by his aunt after she feared that she would lose an inheritance to the baby. Durjoy’s parents took him to the nearest health complex where they said that his injuries were the result of acid. However, they were unable to treat him and failed to wash the acid out of Durjoy’s body. The family were forced to take him to the district hospital, five hours away which was also unable to help him, before being transferred to the divisional hospital.
Six weeks later, Durjoy was discharged. The acid caused such damage that his neck was fused to his chest, his lips and mouth were severely burnt, and he could only be drip-fed.
Acid Survivors Foundation – Bangladesh (ASF-B) came to know about Durjoy from a nurse at the divisional hospital. In 2006, ASTI trustee and volunteer plastic surgeon Dr Ron Hiles operated on Durjoy at the ASF hospital. The operation lasted 7 hours and was extremely complicated. The doctors had been unsure about the severity of the damage inside his mouth, but they were able to open his lips and release his oral cavity. The next evening following the operation, Durjoy suffered heart failure, and ASTI subsequently arranged for him to be taken to Hong Kong for further surgery.
The story of Durjoy is tragic and extremely shocking. However, this little boy survived and he has a future. There is no doubt that without the combined work of ASF in Bangladesh and ASTI in the UK, Durjoy would not be alive today.