Dubai expat marks Eid by praying for aunt in coma
Indian expat Salman Khan, 29, has been staying with his maternal aunt Habibabi from 2013 since he came to Dubai and picked up a job.
As families got busy with festivities, a young man marked his Eid Al Fitr at an ICU ward of a Dubai hospital reciting verses from the holy Quran fervently. His aunt Habibabi Mohamed, 67, slipped into coma after a fall in the bathroom during Ramadan and has been unconscious since then. Habibabi, a single woman who worked at a salon to earn a living, is his only family in Dubai.
Indian expat Salman Khan, 29, has been staying with his maternal aunt Habibabi from 2013 since he came to Dubai and picked up a job. Both of them are from Mumbai, India.
On May 11, 2020, Habibabi got up to pray the special night prayer (tahajjud prayer) at around 3am and was performing ablution in the washroom when she suffered a stroke and collapsed in the washroom. She was rushed to a private hospital, where her current bill has crossed Dh200,000.
Recalling what happened on the fateful night of her fall, Khan said: "When I went up to go to the washroom at around 3.30am, I found her lying on the floor. She was shivering and not responding. I called the ambulance and since she had no medical insurance, I told the ambulance staff to take us to a government hospital only as we will not be able to afford private hospital treatment. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the closest government hospitals did not have beds for any non-covid-19 patients and we were taken to a private hospital in Dubai Healthcare City where the doctors had to perform a brain surgery immediately. She was critical and they had to do undertake this procedure and tests to save her life," said Salman, who works at a courier company and earns a meagre salary barely enough to pay their rent and daily needs.
Salman said Habibabi, who was a diabetic and suffering from hypertension, was looking to get some reasonable medical insurance but since she was a senior citizen, prices of even basic health plan quoted to her by insurance companies were too high for her to afford.
Khan is now worried about the huge Dh200,000 hospital bill that he has been asked to pay.
"I get calls almost every day from the finance department of the hospital, asking me to foot the bill. But I have nothing to offer them. They also threaten to sue me as they said I was the one who came with her and signed documents for her but I have been telling them that we never wanted to come here and it was due to the current pandemic that we were directed here,"Khan said.
Habibabi is on ventilator, her nephew Salman said he trusts God and has been praying day and night that she survives and bounces back to life.
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