Man in semi-coma condition for six months

Man in semi-coma condition for six months

As the youngest in the family and the only one with a job, Shariq was under pressure to provide a living for his family.


Olivia Olarte-Ulherr

Published: Tue 2 Sep 2014, 12:39 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:51 PM

Twenty-seven-year old Shariq Alvi has been in a semi-comatose condition in LLH Hospital for nearly six months now following a brain haemorrhage.

As the sole breadwinner, this tragic incident has left his family — parents, two sisters and an older brother — who just moved here from India, without financial support and means to sustain Shariq’s treatment.

As the youngest in the family and the only one with a job, Shariq was under pressure to provide a living for his family. On March 9, he resigned from his job as a salesman in a bank to work with another bank with a better commission. He was supposed to collect his offer letter on March 12 when the incident occurred.

“He was going through a lot of pressure for his family, he was taking medicine for blood pressure. Till the last night (before the incident) he was okay and talking to everybody,” related Abid Ali, Shariq’s brother-in-law.

According to him, Shariq went to the bathroom at 5.30am and when he did not come out after 20 minutes, his mother became worried and checked on him. They found him lying unconscious.

“He was brought in a semi-comatose condition with very high blood pressure. We did a CT scan and realised that he has a blood vessel which ruptured in the brain; (his state) ... was very critical,” said Dr Lalu Chacko, medical director of LLH Hospital.

“He was on ventilator for many days and by some great miracle, he survived. When he was in the ICU, he was not responding in any way. His brain had suffered intense damage. He survived that episode and became more stable. We then shifted him to the high dependency ward. His vitals became stable and he came to a situation where he needs home care; there’s nothing more we can do.”

According to Dr Chacko, Shariq was discharged four months ago. But because the family has nowhere to put him and no money to pay for his medical needs, they opted to stay in the hospital.

As of May 21, his hospital bill amounted to Dh321,790. A letter from the hospital dated June 1, said that his insurance coverage is “depleted and there is an amount outstanding and his relatives are unable to provide for settlement of hospital dues.” It added that the estimated treatment on daily basis from May 22 is Dh2,500.

“The hospital management is not asking us to pay that amount (referring to the May bill), but to take the patient home,” Ali said. Shariq’s current treatment regime at the hospital includes daily physiotherapy and nursing care such as feeding, cleaning and changing his position.

The estimated home care treatment for two months is far too expensive for the family to afford at Dh139,000. At the moment, the entire family is reliant on Abid Ali but there is only so much he can do. “Only I am helping them but I also have my own family to take care of. I took a two-bedroom flat for them near the NMC Hospital in case there’s an emergency. I have taken a loan from my company,” he said.

In the past months, Ali has been going to around asking help from the Red Crescent and other foundations, putting together the medical papers they require, but he has yet to hear the good news.

Although the prognosis is dim for Shariq, the family is not giving up. “We just want people to come forward and help him financially so we can take him to other hospitals like the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) in Singapore ... maybe somewhere where we can get benefit from surgery,” Ali pointed out.

Ali said NNI charges about $15,000 per week just to keep Shariq in the hospital for observation. Those interested to help Shariq can e-mail Abid Ali at

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