Premature baby discharged after a bill of over Dh170,000 at Al Baraha Hospital settled with the help of hundreds of KT readers.
Infant of the fortnight, little Mohammed has finally come home. Born nearly three months ago on October 25, 2013, Mohammed — who, incidentally, shares a birthday with his father, Sayed — was discharged on Tuesday morning after a bill of over Dh170,000 was finally settled, thanks to donations by hundreds of KT readers.
Mohammed’s father Sayed, along with his trusted aide and friend Mazher marched out of the ICU wing of Al Baraha Hospital in Deira — baby swaddled in a white and blue blanket in Sayed’s arms, Mazher lugging Sayed’s backpack and another polybag of baby-things, headed towards Mazher’s car. Staff of the hospital clicked photographs of Mohammed and Sayed as they left the hospital premises. There were no other family members present.
“I never want to see another hospital, another ICU. I never again want to see hospital lights,” an exhausted but relieved Sayed told Khaleej Times. “If I sit down I will fall asleep,” he smiled, explaining why he won’t take a seat in the waiting room while the paper work wound up.
Grateful for all the help that has come his way, Sayed kept repeating to all well-wishers and people in the hospital who were stopping to congratulate him for being able to take his baby home: “Alhumdullilah… Alhumdullilah (All praise and thanks be to Allah)”.
The X-ray technicians and the security guards are now his friends. The nurses admire his fortitude. At the reception, the burqa-clad ladies think he’s not like the others. They talk of his virtues — “so patient, so decent, not screaming and shouting like others”.
Sayed is most looking forward to Wednesday morning when his mother, sister and baby daughter arrive in Dubai. They are coming to basically, take over and provide some relief in childcare duties, to help out Sayed. Except that he has to work a night shift, Sayed is eagerly awaiting his daughter’s reaction to her baby brother whom she has never met. “I want to catch it on video,” he says in Hindi. He wants to see if she does her trademark thing of gingerly prodding a new specimen — in this case, her new baby brother, and then recoiling in glee, as if given an electric shock. That’s the moment he’s waiting for.
Although Mohammed has been diagnosed with Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA) — a hole in the heart — that doctors have told him is treatable, Sayed is feeling “90 per cent better and more optimistic” than last week. Besides being indebted to donors who came forward with the money, Sayed is indebted to his friend Mazher — who has turned his voice hoarse fielding phone calls all day, incurring the wrath of his manager at work since instead of being in office, he’s been by the side of his friend in hospital all of last week.