x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Boy run over by school bus still cannot walk

Five months after a bus ran over him in the school car park, a 14-year-old Sharjah boy can barely move his right foot.

:Five months after having his right foot crushed after being run over by a school bus, Shahroz Khan, 14, still has to use a walking frame.
:Five months after having his right foot crushed after being run over by a school bus, Shahroz Khan, 14, still has to use a walking frame.

DUBAI // Instead of playing with his cousins on the beach or in the park over the Eid holidays, Shahroz Khan can only watch this year.

Five months after a school bus ran over him in the school car park, the 14-year-old can still barely move his right foot.

Shahroz winces when he remembers the pain he suffered. The effect of the bus crushed the foot, injured a lung, dislocated his left hip and fractured his right thigh bone.

After four surgeries and two months in hospital, a deep gash is visible on his still-swollen right foot. He uses a walker for support and limps across his apartment in Sharjah.

"When I even touch the football with my foot it hurts," said Shahroz, watching his three younger brothers play cricket in a narrow corridor between apartments in his Sharjah residence.

"I had nightmares for a few weeks. Those have stopped. But at night, it pains a lot - it's as if the pain increases."

His family says the accident has changed him. Despite his brothers' cajoling to go to the cinema or dinner, he chose to stay in on his birthday two months ago. He no longer tracks the progress of his favourite football team, Real Madrid, on television.

"In my heart, I don't feel like watching football anymore," said a soft-spoken Shahroz. "I used to see every Real Madrid match. But I do want to play football again; that's still my dream."

His mother prays every day that her son will recover completely.

"I know he was pulled out from under a bus and so I thank Allah for saving his life," said an emotional Meena Sadef, lightly touching the scars still visible on her son's face.

"I pray he should become the same, just as he was when he left home that day."

The accident happened on June 21 when students were leaving the Central School in Dubai.

Shahroz had completed a maths exam and was standing with his back to the school bus along with other pupils. School authorities said the driver attempted to switch on the bus air conditioner by turning the ignition key. Instead the bus, which was in gear, lurched forward knocking down two boys.

The second child, 11-year-old Aslam Basha, suffered multiple fractures but is now able to walk without support. But Aslam's father Altaf Basha said his son had not returned to school because they fear he may get hurt again.

School authorities say the driver's services were terminated after he served two months in prison.

"What happened was an accident, it was unfortunate" said Rasul Syed Mirza Ghalib, the school principal. "We have additional staff in charge of security and transport now. We are also ready to help with [the boys'] studies and any other help needed."

The school has also offered to help tutor Shahroz to make up for the months lost. But Shahroz's parents said no tutor had yet been assigned and the family had spent Dh600 per month on a private tutor to help him cope.

While insurance will cover Shahroz's hospital bills, his father, Shahid Mohammed, looked worried as he leafed through bills totalling Dh3,000 on medicines, clinic visits, therapy and X-rays after his son was discharged.

He spent another Dh8,000 to take his son to Pakistan in search of treatment options. He also wants to take Shahroz to a doctor in southern India who comes recommended by friends and may give his son a better chance of recovery.

"We want the school to help more because this happened in the school," said Shahid Mohammed, who has worked with the Dubai Police for 29 years.

"Shahroz wanted to be a pilot. This accident spoilt his future. Finding a doctor will cost money; money we don't have, but I must do the best for my son."

rtalwar@thenational.ae