Man spends 43 years in wheelchair on wrong diagnosis

September 25, 2016

A Portuguese man spent 43 years in a wheelchair because of a mistaken medical diagnosis, finally re-learning to walk only in his fifties, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

When Rufino Borrego was 13, he was diagnosed by a Lisbon hospital as having incurable muscular dystrophy, the Jornal de Noticias reported.

After that he used a wheelchair to get around for more than four decades—until a neurologist realised in 2010 that he in fact suffered from a different disease that weakens the muscles, .

The can be treated simply by taking asthma medication—and just a year after his new diagnosis, Borrego was able to walk for the first time to his usual neighbourhood cafe.

"We thought it was a miracle," Manuel Melao, owner of the cafe in Alandroal, southeast Portugal, told the newspaper.

Now aged 61, Borrego is able to live a normal life, requiring only two physiotherapy sessions a year.

He insists he harbours no ill-feelings against the hospital that made the original diagnosis, acknowledging that myasthenia was almost unknown in the medical profession in the 1960s.

"I just want to make use of my life," he said.

Explore further: Dysfunctional breathing often wrongly thought to be asthma

Related Stories

Dysfunctional breathing often wrongly thought to be asthma

September 22, 2016

Many people with breathing difficulties remain undiagnosed or are diagnosed wrongly as having asthma when the problem might actually be dysfunctional breathing (DB). Information and breathing exercises can help these patients. ...

Study could herald new treatment for muscular dystrophy

September 9, 2016

New research has shown that the corticosteroid deflazacort is a safe and effective treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The findings, which appear this month in the journal Neurology, could pave the way for first U.S.-approved ...

First child exoskeleton for spinal muscular atrophy

June 9, 2016

Researchers have introduced the world's first infant exoskeleton designed to help children with spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative illness. Weighing 12 kilos, the apparatus is made of aluminium and titanium, and is designed ...

Recommended for you

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.