Toddler left brain damaged in UAE after choking on food

Saman Haziq/Sharjah
Filed on September 11, 2020
girl, pakistani, chokes, uae, hospital


The father now has a pending bill of around Dh90,000 after getting discounts from hospitals.

Husna Noor's parents celebrated her first birthday on August 11 at home by decking her up in a beautiful dress and showering her with gifts. But little did they know that it would be the last day they'd be seeing their youngest daughter in a normal state. On August 12, Husna choked on the food her mother was feeding her and has been left severely brain damaged. Almost in a vegetative state, she is unable to move her limbs. Apparently, the food she was being fed got stuck in her windpipe that led the oxygen supply to her brain being cut off for a few minutes.

Pakistani expat and mother-of-four Rubi was feeding some mashed rice and lentil (colloquially called khichdi) to little Husna at their home in Sharjah when the child suddenly started choking. "I immediately started tapping her back and did all I could but realised she couldn't breathe and was turning blue. Husna fell unconscious and I rushed her to a nearby hospital where they performed a CPR on her and revived her heart beat but the lack of oxygen left her brain with extensive damage," Rubi said.  
After being admitted in the ICU of a hospital in Al Qusais for around 10 days, Husna was shifted to Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah. "She was kept on a ventilator for almost a week after which she started breathing on her own, but doctors have said chances of her full recovery are bleak and if at all she does, she will be severely handicapped. We have now brought her home and she will need to be fed through a nasal tube for two weeks. After that a paediatric surgeon will surgically put a food pipe through her stomach as nasal pipe cannot be put for more than 14 days because it could lead to infections," her father Abdul Haseeb, who is in the business of transporting goods, told Khaleej Times.  

Husna now lies immobile in her cradle at home as her parents, grandparents, three elder siblings try their best to make her smile, laugh or mumble words. The girl is unable to move any of her limbs.

Toddler left brain damaged in UAE after choking on food (KT25808911.JPEG)
Speaking about their predicament, Haseeb said: "It pains me to see my little girl lying in a vegetative state. One day before the freak accident, we had celebrated her birthday, dressed her up in new clothes and got her gifts. She looked so happy and now although she opens her eyes, she cannot move her limbs. There is only one expression on her face which reflects she is in pain." 

No medical insurance adds to woes

Adding to the woes of the family is the pending hospital bills that the family incurred as they did not have Husna medically insured. "We were planning to get a medical insurance for her soon and never thought such an emergency would befall us. We would buy medicines and visit cheaper clinics and were doing alright."

Haseeb now has a pending bill of around Dh90,000 after getting discounts from both the hospitals. (email or contact the toddler's father at 052 649 8889).

"Although we are told our daughter will never be able to make full recovery, my wife and our family have immense faith in Allah. He is the one who gives and takes life. We all are praying, doing what we can for her treatment and trusting that Allah will do what is best for us. We have faith that one day our beautiful daughter will recover and run, walk and talk normally."

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