May 17, 2021


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Pieces of mortar shell in the brain of a woman injured in the war of liberation

During the great liberation war of 1971, a woman was injured by a mortar shell fired by the invading forces. At that time he received immediate medical attention and survived by coincidence. But inside the brain remains a piece of mortar shell. He is still alive with that piece. But now he needs treatment. The psychiatrist and assistant professor of Sylhet Medical College Hospital Dr. posted on social media asking for help to get him better treatment. Saeed Enam.

His post is highlighted exactly-

‘Dear Mamun,

During our great liberation war, a couple of freedom fighters were attacked by mortar shells fired by the invading forces. They both survived that journey. Although he survived the journey, the 50-year-old lady (age 60) is still alive with a slight weakness in her left leg and some other physical problems.

For the past three years, the lady has been experiencing headaches, dizziness, forgetfulness and behavioral problems (psychiatric problems). One day he also drank pesticides to cure forgetfulness and behavioral problems (psychiatric problems), for which he had to have a stomach wash later. His children finally came to me for this psychiatric treatment a couple of weeks ago.

I carefully do his MSE (Mental State Examination) and take the whole history of psychiatric problems from beginning to end. I was shocked by the mortar shell attack of this freedom fighter during the liberation war. I would like to know the details of whether he got any head injury at that time. He could barely remember that incident. At that moment, pieces of mortar shell pierced the left side of his body and a piece hit him on the head. He became unconscious. At that time, both the husband and wife received immediate treatment and survived by coincidence.

After being hit in the head with a mortar shell and having had brain problems for several years, I immediately sent him for an X-ray of his brain. I see what I guessed. X-rays show the location of a piece of mortar shell inside his brain! Such events are miraculous and wonderful. It is rare in medicine.

This piece of shell has melted about half of his brain in the last 50 years. In the language of medicine it is called ‘parenchyma’. (Porencephaly due to Encephalomalacia changes of cerebral hemisphere) I gave him a CT scan of the brain to determine what other damage had been done to his brain. There, too, fragments of mortar shells shattered about half of his brain, causing deeper wounds over the past 50 years.

Surviving 50 years with a piece of mortar shell inside the brain is a rare occurrence for medical science around the world, and appearing with a psychotic presentation is also extremely rare in medical science. So far only five cases have been found in the journal. (Psychotic Presentation of Porencephaly: the most rare condition of medical science).

It is a privilege and a source of great pride for me to be able to diagnose and treat such a great woman, because she is a heroic freedom fighter and for them we have an independent and sovereign country. On that day they took part in the war of liberation leaving everything behind without caring for life and death at the call of Bangabandhu.

The important thing is – for which it is shared here, the current medicine treatment, although she feels a little better, this heroic freedom fighter mahiyasi woman needs a better treatment with the combination of neurosurgery neuropsychiatry board. It could also be an operation to remove a piece of mortar shell from inside his brain and wash out the rotten part of the brain as far as possible. Which is quite expensive and risky. If possible, this operation may have to be done abroad if not in the country.

This freedom fighter family is very indigent. The latter requires his cooperation for this modern treatment and it must be done quickly. I think Hon’ble Prime Minister Bangabandhu Kanya Jannetri Sheikh Hasina should be informed about this. He will be able to arrange the next proper treatment of this heroic freedom fighter Mahiyasi Nari. I think it will be possible if any of you take the initiative to convey this message to the Hon’ble Prime Minister. The home of this heroic freedom fighter family is in Brahmanbazar village of Kulauraup district of Moulvibazar district.

Dr. Saeed Enam
MBBS (DMC) MPhil (Psychiatry), BCS (Health)
Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor
Sylhet Medical College Hospital.
International Fellow: American Psychiatric Association.