/ patient stories

Kurtuluş Eroğlu

Mrs. Kurtuluş Eroğlu was born and grown up in Turkey at Tokat province (Blacksea region). She was a bright spark in her family as the oldest child with one brother and sister. After she fall down in the garden from a swing at age of 12, her genetic problem triggered and changed her life totally. Neither her nor her family had no idea at that time what really happened to her. Kurtuluş couldn’t step on her feet and suffered from a big ankle pain. Her family considered this situation as a simple accident and didn’t take into consideration seriously. Later, because of her pain didn’t over, her family applied to a sort of doctor (local practician) who used to work at small towns without any medical education but helps to fix people’s bone or joints by pulling ext…This person tried his own methods and believed that Kurtuluş’s ankle was twisted and he fixed it. She suffered a lot and at that time they didn’t do any xray or mr at all.

Lets continue her story by her own words;

Thank you to my doctor and his team for finalizing my battle since I have been struggling when I was 12.

Kurtuluş Eroğlu

“After this wrong medical intervention, the pain and the swelling didn’t heal. Vice versa, all symptoms got worse in 1 year, gradually. Therefore we went to the nearest research hospital at Sivas (province in Turkey at Central Anatolia) . There, I have been forwarded to the orthapedy department They measured and compared my two legs, diagnosed the difference but still couldn’t understand the reason. They started medication. This medication had zero effect on me. At the age of 17, I arrived to Istanbul for working.. In this period I kept my searching for my problem. At one of the hospitals I had visited at that time, diagnosed me as flat foot. They wanted me to use a special ped in my shoes which I did for 1 year but still there was no change on my ankle and was getting swallowed more.

When I married at age of 21, I had burnt myself out and lost my hope to get my health back . I didn’t suffer from walking disability but my problem was much more worst, it was psychological. When the swollen ankle was getting worse, I could hardly move and suffering of standing on my feet. I couldn’t dress as I was dreaming. Can you imagine the situation especially for a woman.

Me and my husband decided to make a search at 2003 from the beginning again. Still we returned with empty handed. Some physical therapists recommended hot water application to my leg everyday for treatment and told me not to step on my feet. I did for a long time and did’t give up easily but my feet become devoid of sensation. At 2008, my leg catched an infection. I had no wound before and all of a sudden my leg got swollen with an horrible infection..We applied to Siyame Ersek Education and Research Hospital and they gave as an appointment for the next year. They were so fully booked. My husband took me through the emergency department of the hospital and made a short cut to this 1 year☺ . The doctor’s comment was exactly like this; “our hospital is not equipped enough for the diagnosis and the treatment of my health problem.”

Lower than my knee was too huge, very red and was hurting like a hell. I could not touch or even move and I was crying non stop. To seek an alternative help me and my husband for the last try we went to Çapa Hospital in Istanbul. This was the first time that one doctor in those years could understood finally what was wrong with me. Her name is Dr. Alis and I believe I will never forget her as well. I was a lymphedema patient. She forwarded me to physical therapy. I got an excellent result through 11 drainage massage session and compression bandage followed by compression socks. I fight with my problem from the year 2003 to 2016.

All the doctors I visited told me that there is no cure for my problem. I could have an operation but they told me that there is only %30 chance to get better and this is not workable. They recommended a medication which was not available in Turkey and also was too expensive to be able to afford. Even this medication wasn’t able to cure me but only was helping the symptom sensibility.

I never gave up. I made a non stop search on the internet and finally reached Prof. Dr. Mehmet Veli Karaaltın. He had achieved an operation to a patient, same like me and suffering of lymphedema for 17 years and had got an excellent result. This was my last opportunity and also last hope. On 12th of December at 2016, with 8 hours operation I re-burn. After the operation; my mobility was sort of restricted for 1.5 months but maximum at 3th month I started to live a new life free from lymphedema. At my operation, Dr. Karaaltın transfered my working spare lymphes from my neck to my ankle. In a way he made a vessel by-pass and now my leg lympe diranaige system is working. They are even growing new vessels which will obtain me thinner leg day by day.

There are so many things I want to say to my doctor Karaaltın but lines of my letter is not enough for my feelings coming from my hearth. I want to thank him that he lit the light of hope in my life. I am so thankful to him for his psychological and emotional support and for the happiness which because of him; me and the other patients of him are experienced. Thank you to my doctor and his team for finalizing my battle since I have been struggling when I was 12. I wanted to write my letter to be able to inspire other lymphedema patients, suffering the same health problem like me.”