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UAE: After 77 days in ICU, Pakistani expat airlifted home

Saman Haziq


Last updated on March 4, 2021 at 09.55 pm
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A 53-year-old carpenter who survived a brain stroke and heart attack was airlifted to Pakistan on Wednesday after he was able to breathe without the support of a ventilator.

Tabarak Hussain had spent 77 days in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Aster Hospital, Mankhool, where doctors, under the supervision of Dr Vikas Bhagat, head of critical care medicine, monitored and helped stabilise his condition. With his insurance cover only partly covering his hospital bill of around Dh500,000, Aster Volunteers — the CSR wing of the Aster Healthcare group — stepped forward and took care of his treatment.

Hussain was admitted to the hospital on December 14 after he experienced a severe headache and dizziness, Dr Bhagat told Khaleej Times. “We realised he had suffered both heart attack and brain haemorrhage due to which his left part of the body had paralysed. Our cardiologist performed angiography and opened the clogged artery, while for the haemorrhage we treated him with medications and by putting him on a ventilator for uninterrupted supply of oxygen to his brain. After his condition stabilised, we performed carotid stenting.

“Two days after the stenting procedure, Hussain developed a fever which was due to septic shock (infection in the blood leading to hypotension). This was treated with antibiotics. Gradually Hussain was weaned off the ventilator and tracheostomy was done in order to place a tube into his windpipe so he could breathe better,” explained Dr Bhagat.

“After continued care for around three months, Hussain was stable and could breathe on his own. He also resumed his oral diet and we have also seen some movement in his paralysed left arm and hand. He is now able to speak and comprehend things and is also eating himself. All he needs now is good care and physiotherapy and chances are that in the next few months, he will be able to regain most of the movements of his left side. Hussain has requested to return to his family in Pakistan, where his aged mother, wife and four children are waiting to see him. Hence, his company made arrangements to airlift him,” Dr Bhagat added.

Hussain was booked on an Emirates flight, with nine seats (three rows) were reserved for him and his medical equipment — standby ventilator, syringe pump, cardiac monitor and standby suction machine. He was accompanied by a doctor and nurse on the three-and-half-hour journey to his home country.

saman@khaleejtimes.com