Man spent 43 years in a wheelchair due to wrong diagnosis

When he was 13-years-old, Rufino Borrego of Portugal was diagnosed with incurable muscular dystrophy. Lisbon doctors told him that he would need to be confined to a wheelchair.

He then spent the next 43 years of his life in a wheelchair. Thankfully, in 2010 a neurologist discovered that Borrego did not have MD at all, but myasthenia. Myasthenia is a completely different condition that weakens the muscles, and can be treated by taking asthma medication.

RELATED: See various viral and bacterial diseases

Various bacteria, diseases, infections
See Gallery
Various bacteria, diseases, infections


(Photo by Sebastian Kaulitzki via Getty Images)

E.coli bacteria

(Photo by Ian Cuming via Getty Images)

S. pyrogens, a nonmotile, pathogenic bacteria. Commonly associated with septic sore throat infections (known as 'strep throat') & scarlet fever.

(Photo by S. Lowry/Univ Ulster via Getty Images)

Influenza virus particle surrounded by some floating red blood cells

(Photo by Ralf Hiemisch via Getty Images)


(Photo by Ed Reschke via Getty Images)

Microscopic Image of Escherichia Coli

(Photo by Duncan Smith via Getty Images)

MRSA Staphylococcus aureus Bacteria outside a white blood cell

(Photo by Science Stills via Getty Images)

Microscopic Image of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae

(Photo by Duncan Smith via Getty Images)

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

(Photo by G W Willis via Getty Images)

Microscopic Image of Clostridium Tetani

(Photo by Duncan Smith via Getty Images)

Cyanobacteria in stream

(Photo by Mint Images, Frans Lanting via Getty Images)


A year after the corrected diagnosis, Borrego began to walk again. Now, Borrego is 61-years-old and his legs function normally. He only needs to continue taking medication and attend two physiotherapy sessions a year.

Borrego does not hold resentment to the doctors who originally diagnosed him. He said,"I just want to make use of my life."

Read Full Story

From Our Partners