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Coronavirus: Parents stuck in Kuwait, baby girl to celebrate 1st birthday at UAE hospital
Zeina is one of the twin babies born to Kuwaiti parents at a hospital in Abu Dhabi.
Nurses and doctors of a hospital in Abu Dhabi have become family for a newborn whose parents have been stuck in Kuwait due to the Covid-19 situation. The baby girl has been at the hospital for almost a year.
Zeina is one of the twin babies born to Kuwaiti parents at the Corniche Hospital. She was born prematurely at 24 weeks on August 8, 2019, and was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Zeina's parents had to fly back home to attend to their other children. Since February 8, Zeina has been under the care of the NICU staff. The staff has developed a special bond with Zeina as they saw her grow from a 600-gramme pre-term newborn to an 8kg healthy baby. They witnessed her first smile, heard her first giggle and were inspired by her strength.
Birthday girl Zeina
Zeina will turn one soon and her family hopes they will be able to celebrate her birthday with her back home in Kuwait.
Her mother said: "I express my utmost gratitude to the Corniche Hospital for their efforts in taking such great care of my daughter Zeina. I also express my heartfelt thanks to the country of tolerance and humanity, the UAE; to the Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak; and to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Virtual visits for parents
Throughout this period, Zeina's parents have remained closely in touch with her through the virtual NICU visits that the hospital has introduced. The virtual visit technology allows parents who cannot visit their children due to movement restrictions or medical conditions, to bond with their newborn, and communicate with the medical team that cares for their baby.
Linda Clark, CEO, Corniche Hospital, said: "Our 64-cot Level III NICU is the largest and most advanced in the country. We care for newborns with critical illnesses at all gestational ages beyond 22 weeks of pregnancy and offer a full range of support services. We pride ourselves on our family-centered care, and although we follow strict precautionary measures that exceed international standards and assure the health and wellbeing of newborns, we also recognise the role of parental bonding in a baby's healthy development."
Milestone for hospital
The Kuwaiti family had chosen Corniche Hospital during pregnancy due to the complications associated with twin pregnancies. A team of doctors performed foetoscopic laser on the twins inside the mother's womb - a specialised procedure that is needed to treat severe twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in some monochorionic pregnancies.
Dr Leanne Bricker, consultant in foetal medicine and chair of foetal medicine and medical imaging at Corniche Hospital, noted: "The foetal medicine unit is the only centre in the UAE and one of the few in the Gulf region that offers this procedure. We have completed the 100th foetoscopic laser procedure during this week, a milestone that marks our legacy of expertise in the foetal therapy."
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