Considered the tallest man in Brazil, measuring 2.37 meters, Joelison Fernandes da Silva, 36, will have to amputate his leg after more than four years of living with an infection in his right foot. A resident of Asunción, in the interior of Paraíba, Ninão, as he is better known, is prevented from carrying out various activities.
“I need to have an amputation surgery because I have osteomyelitis in the foot bone. It’s been more than four years that I’ve been suffering from it, making it impossible for me to work, walk, have a normal life,” he explains, in an interview with UOL. Since he was stricken by the infection, he only uses a wheelchair.
Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria, mycobacteria or fungi, which can manifest in any bone in the body and at any stage of life, being more common in childhood and old age. Treatment can be done with antibiotics and surgical cleaning, but after tests done in 2020, it was discovered that, in the case of Joelison, amputation would be the best way to avoid spreading the infection throughout the rest of the body.
For now, he still doesn’t know if he’s going to have the surgery in a hospital in Paraíba or if he’s going to Natal (RN) or Recife (PE), but, as he has already managed to get the resources to perform it, he hopes he’ll be able to do the procedure quickly. “The sooner the better”.
Today, he earns a minimum wage and his wife works with party decoration to supplement the income. However, the family budget would not be enough to cover the costs of the surgery. To make it possible, she had the help of influencers from Asunción (PB) and a deputy to raise funds.
The intervention on the right leg came after a lot of family conversation. “The amputation decision has already been made, my whole family and I have sat down and talked about what is best for me. It’s been 4 and a half years that I’ve been in this situation without any improvement,” he says.
Before the infection, Ninão worked with advertisements and events. He even participated in the “Desafio” frame, in the Silvio Santos Program, on SBT, in 2013. The following year, in another program of the house, Domingo Legal, his record of 2.37 meters was registered, for the second time, by an inspector from RankBrasil.
After the amputation, he wants to get a personalized prosthesis and started a campaign to raise money and afford the equipment. So far he has managed to get R$35,000 of the R$150,000 needed. “Thank God there are many people contributing to the kitty“, thanks.
With over 72,000 followers on Instagram, Ninão posted a video on his social networks explaining the decision to amputate his leg and asking for support from those who accompany him.