Having lost wife after premature delivery, this storekeeper is struggling to pay hospital bills before taking son home
Shaikh Sayed Bavazeer is drowning in sorrow. The 30-year old, who works as a store keeper in Dubai, is on a four-day leave from his company to sort out a still-rolling medical bill of Dh1,91,830 that he’s had the utter misfortune of incurring.
Shaikh Sayed Bavazeer during an interview at the Khaleej Times office in Dubai on Tuesday. — KT photo by Kiran Prasad
Every day, Dh2,200 gets added to that amount. Sayed’s job as a store keeper — issuing and receiving spare parts — pays him Dh4,116 per month.
This is his story.
On September 9, 2013, Sayed brought his five-month pregnant wife, Kouser Nahdi (21), and their 13-month-old baby daughter Wadha (means brightness) to Dubai from the south Indian city of Hyderabad on visit visas.
Kouser wanted to spend Eid Al Adha with Sayed in Dubai as in the two years they had been married, they hadn’t spent even one Eid together as a family. So Sayed extended their visit visas for a month.
In the evening of October 25, 2013, Kouser was walking with her relatives at Hor Al Anz in Deira when she slipped and fell on a footpath. The trauma of the fall caused advanced labour, and Kouser was rushed to Al Baraha Hospital and underwent an emergency caesarean section. A premature baby boy. He was named Mohammed as a tribute to Sayed’s brother, Mohammed, who five years ago, died in sleep of heart complications when he was a 19-year-old college student.
After the birth of baby Mohammed, Kouser suffered several complications. Her health was failing. Sayed booked air tickets to take his wife and daughter back to get treated in India. But within two weeks of her son’s birth, on the eve of their departure for Hyderabad, Kouser succumbed to septic shock, and died on the night of November 11, 2013, while her son was battling for life in the ICU of the same hospital.
When things started spiralling out of control – with the death of his wife, the mounting ICU bills and his son’s critical state — Sayed sent his friend Mazher Uddin, who was his roommate six years ago, a text: “Have you heard about my tragedy?”
Mazher who has been by his friend’s side says, “My friend did not know what to do. He left with Kouser’s body for burial in India, leaving behind baby Mohammed in the hospital. He then left his daughter with the parents in Hyderabad and returned to Dubai to take care of the two-month-old Mohammed. We are worried that he may not be able to clear the final hospital bill… The final amount will be known only at the time of discharge. If you can help us finding any charity organisation and spreading this message with people who can come forward to help…”
Sayed can’t bring Mohammed back home or shift him from the ICU (doctors gave the baby an all-clear on January 5 this year) to a general ward where the cost is a relatively more economical Dh500 a day because there’s no one there to look after the baby. And the hospital is not going to release the baby till Sayed coughs up a surety that the bill will be paid.
Sayed, who has not had a good night’s sleep for several days now, has been running from pillar to post looking for help. He has been wearing a backpack — “like a school or college student”, as he says – that is laden not with school or college notes, but with multiple photocopies of bills, his salary certificate, passport copies, baby Mohammed’s medical reports, embalming reports, and his wife’s death certificate.
“I have to accept it,” he repeats, eyes welling up with tears. “I have to accept it… I don’t know what to do, but I have to accept it…”