Father's Day: UAE expat, dad to celebrate special day on Covid-19 frontline

covid-19. coronavirus, UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, frontliners, health workers, Father's Day

Dubai - Way before the pandemic started, Rodel Gambal has been helping save lives in Dubai as part of the emirate's emergency response team.

By Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 20 Jun 2020, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 21 Jun 2020, 8:42 PM

While families around the world are preparing to celebrate Father's Day tomorrow, for a father-and-son duo in the UAE, it will be just another day at work - on the frontlines of the Covid-19 battle.
Father's Day will always be special for Kent Gambal, 26, an ICU nurse at NMC Hospital Al Ain. After all, it was his dad - Rodel Gambal - who pushed and inspired him to be the brave frontliner that he is now.
Way before the pandemic started, Rodel, 52, has been helping save lives in Dubai as part of the emirate's emergency response team. For 14 years now, the Filipino expat has been serving as an emergency medical technician at the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS).
"My dad has been my inspiration when I took up the noble profession of nursing. And today, he continues to be my guiding force," Kent said.
For Kent, his father is a superhero - especially after everything their family has been through.
Though he's a nurse by profession, Rodel recalled having to take odd jobs back home in the Philippines just to make ends meet, raise his five kids, and make sure all of them would get quality education.
And when he was got the job at DCAS, he knew his prayers were answered. "Coming to the UAE meant reaching a place where we can fulfil our dreams, I couldn't have asked for more in life," said the grateful father.
At one point, Rodel developed osteoarthritis and had to undergo total knee replacement. He strived hard to fully recover so he could save his dream job. It was then that Kent decided to fly to the UAE and help his father.
"I came to the UAE as a backup plan, should my dad lose his job. Again, we were lucky that the country provided us with another opportunity. My father got to retain his job and I got hired at NMC," Kent said.
"I will always be grateful to my father who has been our superhero, and we shall remain deeply indebted to the UAE, a land of opportunities," he added.
With their busy schedules as Covid-19 warriors, Kent and Rodel know they wouldn't be able to celebrate like any other family.
"Even though we wouldn't be able to meet personally, he will remain in our thoughts and prayers," Kent said.

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