Revealed: Robbed East Ham cancer patient, 82, ‘may never be able to eat or swallow again’
PUBLISHED: 17:29 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:39 09 November 2017
The family of a frail cancer patient requiring 24-hour care after thugs badly beat him fear he will never leave home again.
East Ham resident Ahmet Dobran cannot breathe, swallow or eat without breathing apparatus after three men dragged him to the ground and stole jewellery and money worth £8,000 during a brutal robbery on August 27.
Daughter Lema Dobran, 55, said her father - an independent man who “loves life” and entertaining - is unlikely to fully recover after doctors said he “may never be able to eat or swallow again”.
She said: “He may have the tracheotomy in for good now because the swelling has never gone down from where he got bashed in the neck and in the back.
“We keep saying this will be the end of him. If he knows that it is permanent, he might give up on life and we do not want him to do that.”
Ahmet - who has five children, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren - will be fed by tube between six and eight hours a day once home but believes his tracheotomy will be removed in seven months’ time.
Despite having Parkinson’s and cancer, “proud” pensioner Ahmet was regularly seen around East Ham before his ordeal wearing a two-piece suit and tie as he visited his favourite betting shop with friends and drank cappuccinos.
“He goes out every day, seven days a week,” said Lema. “Now he is going to be stuck at home looking at four walls, watching the television, for 24 hours with a nurse.
“My dad is not a person who sits in front of the telly. His lifestyle was being out and this has taken his independence away which is sad.”
Ahmet, who has also lost the use of his left hand, is said to be withdrawn since the robbery and can only walk for up to three minutes with a zimmer frame.
“We have all been quite stressed, emotionally drained, very angry and frustrated with the whole situation,” Lema said.
“We’re very angry. I just want justice done really.”
The family had feared Ahmet’s initial memory loss was permanent but it has slowly returned, sadly along with his recollection of what happened.
Lema said: “He started crying and said ‘I remember three guys attacking me. I told them to leave me alone but they carried on’.”
The NHS worker spoke out after kind fundraiser Shane Yerrell, who heard about Ahmet’s story, raised £800 to help fund his recovery and met with Ahmet on Tuesday. She called him “a lovely inspiring person”.
The funds will help fund Ahmet’s rehabilitation, including a new chair for his home.
Shane said: “Meeting Ahmet and his family was a privilege. They made me feel so comfortable and it felt like we had already met.
“I know he still has a way to go and it’s going to be a long road to recovery so I hope this money helps him through it.”
Metropolitan Police are still appealing for help to find Ahmet’s attackers.
Anyone who recognises the men pictured is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.