UAE: Employer steps in to help clear brain-dead cyclist's hospital bills

Saman Haziq /Sharjah Filed on August 17, 2021
Supplied photos

The man now lies in a vegetative state at a Sharjah hospital.

Madappa Palangappa, 54, would get up every morning at 4.30, and go out for cycling – his favourite hobby – without fail. On July 10 this year, the perfectly fit Sharjah resident, who has been in the UAE for over 25 years, was on his routine pedal pursuit when he suffered a massive cardiac arrest around 5.30am. His condition deteriorated due to non-supply of oxygen to his brain. In just 10 minutes, the healthy and active cycling enthusiast was left brain dead.

The man now lies in a vegetative state at a Sharjah hospital. He has been on ventilator support for over a month, with bills racking up to around Dh280,000. The medical expenses have been covered by the insurance firm, thanks to the generous initiative of his employer of 27 years, who upgraded his insurance plan.

Madappa, endearingly called Manu, moved to the UAE from Bangalore in 1994 and joined Wotek FZE as its sales manager. Staying loyal to his company, he never switched jobs since then.

Manu’s wife had suffered a paralytic attack some 10 years ago and is partially paralysed. They also have a 13-year-old daughter.

Anupam Dewan, CEO at Wotek FZE, who has known Manu for over two decades, and offered full company support to him and his family, said: “We have done nothing great by extending our support to our employee in his tough time. We consider this as our moral responsibility. Any responsible employer should be doing this for their staff. Manu has been with us for 27 years and the least we could do is to show compassion to our beloved staff and help his family during such a difficult phase. He has earned our love and respect. We are hopeful that Manu would recover and we are all praying for his speedy recovery.”

Manu’s friends, Harish Uthaiah and Umesh Kuttanda, are also doing their bit to help him and his family by activating community sources.

“Manu has been a very active cyclist all his life. He has cycled long distance in India as well as here. In fact, every weekend or during a break, Manu would go on long cycling routes. He had the best of bikes as biking was his passion,” one of his friends said.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Uthaiah said: “We are lucky that apart from Manu’s employers, hospital and friends, the whole Coorgi community (from where he belongs) has shown great solidarity in contributing to help repatriate Manu to India in a special air ambulance that we have arranged. The total cost of the air ambulance that will carry the patient along with two companions (his wife and daughter), an accompanying doctor and nurse has come to Dh150,000. We are glad that the community members have contributed around Dh70,000 and the rest was taken care of by Manu’s employer, colleagues and his close friends.”

Manu and his family will be flying out from Dubai to Bengaluru in the air ambulance on Wednesday. A ground ambulance has been arranged at both ends by Aviation Services Management, Uthaiah added.

Saman Haziq

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