2-year-old fights for life as insurer turns blind eye

2-year-old fights for life as insurer turns blind eye

Abu Dhabi - He pointed out that the provider is now unwilling to cover the financial expenses for his son's operation, which needs to take place this December.



By Jasmine Al Kuttab

Published: Mon 26 Sep 2016, 4:37 PM

Last updated: Wed 28 Sep 2016, 9:39 AM

A father in Abu Dhabi says his insurance provider has suddenly turned a blind eye to his son's illness and is not cooperating, nor helping with his surgical treatments.
Roland Mazhawidza's son, Ephraim, is barely two years old and requires surgery as he is suffering from arterial health issues, including pneumonia.
Mazhawidza, who is originally from Zimbabwe, but moved to the UAE in 2010, said his insurance provider covered the cost for his son's first operation, just days after he was born.
However, he pointed out that the provider is now unwilling to cover the financial expenses for his son's operation, which needs to take place this December.
Mazhawidza, who earns Dh5,100 a month working as an animal husbandry farmer at Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi, is suddenly struck with heavy medical bills. Moreover, Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), the hospital that will be treating his son, has asked for a deposit as large as the father's salary. Mazdhawidza explained that his son could not breath after he was born.
This was in December 2014. He was then placed in high frequency ventilation, until doctors managed to locate the cause.
The history report stated: "After delivery, within seconds he developed marked stridor and sub-costal retractions." Doctors discovered the newborn was suffering from a double aortic arch, which causes severe airway obstruction, vascular ring and respiratory failure.
Thus, the newborn underwent a double aortic arch repair just days after birth, and stayed almost for a month in hospital.
Two years has almost past and Ephraim continues to suffer with ongoing breathing difficulties and is regularly admitted to the emergency room.
Another report noted the boy was still suffering "from multiple medical problems, including congenital heart disease, airway obstruction and tracheomalacia."
Moreover, he requires occupational therapy and speech therapy, which costs a whopping Dh450 - 650 per 45-minute session, which again the insurance provider will not cover. "Insurance is reluctant to help. They are delaying any approvals for the physiotherapy that he needs. The hospital also told us that our insurance card would not cover the operation to expand his airway. My boy is weak. Two-year-olds are usually running and enjoying life, but he has no power in his body, the more he coughs the weaker he becomes."
Ephraim's health issues have certainly caused a great concern for his parents. "I cannot count the number of times we went in and out of the hospital. It is a nightmare." The father noted that although his son is almost two years old, he is unable to walk or sit on his own without toppling over.
The child is also suffering from respiratory distress syndrome which is a severe lung condition that occurs when fluid fills up the air sacs, thus lowering the oxygen in his bloodstream.
"It hasn't been easy on my wife and I. Ephraim coughs throughout the night and has trouble breathing, we can't do anything to help him - he is deteriorating right in front of our eyes. At home we don't feel peace, we have not even been able to enjoy our child. But we are spiritual people and our hope and faith is what is keeping us going."
jasmine@khaleejtimes.com


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