Pothole encounter leaves man facing permanent injury

By Anith Adilah
Personal trainer Nur Hidayat Hussin, 24, sustained injuries on his face after hitting a pothole at Jalan Cheras. Picture was taken in May 2017. — Malay Mail pix

PETALING JAYA, Feb 19 — Potholes are the bane of road users, often leaving many with hefty repair bills after an unfortunate encounter.

For personal trainer Nur Hidayat Hussin, however, hitting a pothole near Taman Len Seng in Cheras on May 14 last year changed his life forever.

Hidayat, 24, was riding pillion on a friend’s motorcycle and was thrown 50m when they hit a pothole.

“It was about 10pm, so it was really dark. The street lights were not really helping because they were placed far apart from one another.

“By the time my friend spotted the pothole, it was already too late to brake,” he said, adding his friend was also flung off and sustained injuries on his chin.

Hidayat’s injuries were much worse; his left cheek was fractured and he damaged a facial nerve, which doctors said could be permanent.

Seven months later, Hidayat still experiences a lack of control in moving his mouth, which made it especially awkward when he is eating and talking.

Doctors told him it could take a year to recover, but warned the damage may be lasting if the difficulty in controlling his facial muscles do not subside by then.

The accident also left him with facial disfigurement.

“For the first few months, I could not bear looking at myself in the mirror. My left cheek looked displaced and I did not look or feel like myself.

“I was so angry but I did not know who to hold responsible for this. It is not like I can just simply walk up to the authorities and demand compensation,” he said.