A poor Peruvian fisherman has been left without a job and in constant pain after parts of his body ballooned to an abnormal size after a deep sea diving accident.
56-year-old Alejandro “Willy” Ramos from the southern fishing town of Pisco, Peru, had followed his father’s footsteps and turned to fishing to make a living 30 years ago. Willy told the local press that fisherman had to only dive 50ft into the waters in his father’s time to catch shellfish.
Today, however, fisherman have to dive to greater depths to catch shellfish, due to overfishing.
On the fateful day of his accident, Willy was 100ft deep underwater as he was being fed air from his son and a coworker who stayed on a boat in the surface. Suddenly, a passing ship severed the air pipe, cutting off oxygen to Willy.
Although ascending too quickly is dangerous as the nitrogen in the diver’s body can form bubbles and cause medical abnormalities, Willy was forced to quickly ascend to the survive since his only source of oxygen was cut off.
The nitrogen, however, caused permanent damage to his body due to the sudden and rapid change in pressure. Willy lamented: “I kept swelling and swelling. My arms swelled to an incredible size. It didn’t go down. It didn’t go down.”
Willy was left with severely swollen arms and chest that added nearly 30 extra kilograms to his frame and left him with a plethora of difficulties. Besides suffering from constant pain and trouble walking due to the extra weight, Willy also has pain in his arms and hears a hissing sound emanating from his chest when he breathes.
Willy also lost his job due to his injuries and has been left unable to pay for any medical treatment. Besides the blows to his health and finances, Willy also said that he felt embarrassed to leave his home for a long time after the accident.
The poor fisherman is now receiving help from the Naval Medical Centre in the Peruvian capital city, Lima. Doctors are reportedly considering the use of a high-tech oxygen chamber to possibly help repair some of the damaged tissue in Willy’s body.