Abu Dhabi: Ramadan has not brought any relief to Mobeen Chaudhry.
The 18-year-old suffers from cystic fibrosis. He has not been to school for almost a year now — his parents cannot afford the fees as his father Mohammad Zahoor lost his job a few years ago.
Mobeen’s younger brother Mohammad Amin, 13, is also sitting out of school.
“We have no idea how to go about our life,” Mobeen’s mother Rubina Shaheer told XPRESS. “Everything looks bleak. I’m really worried about my son’s health. Our doctor said he needs high protein and nutritious food, but where can we afford all this? We are really unlucky parents who can’t provide these things for our kids.”
According to Dr Nizar M. Kherallah of Shaikh Khalifa Medical City, where Mobeen is being treated, this is a life-long issue and needs regular medication. “The road to recovery is lengthy, expensive and complex.”
The family has not been able to pay rent for their accommodation on Electra Street in Abu Dhabi.
“We don’t know how long we can treat him. We have not been able to pay rents nor school fees of the kids. They lost one crucial academic year,” Shaheer said.
Things were going fine for the family after the couple got married in 1990 and Shaheer began work at the Water and Electricity Department in Abu Dhabi.
But in 2008 Mohammad lost his job. “I was not highly qualified and was among those who were dismissed,” he said.
“I thought of starting something on my own and bought a forklift truck on loan.”
But the business did not make any headway. “The truck has been parked for almost three months now. We are really struggling,” he said.
Shaheer said their life could change if only her husband landed a decent job.
“All my husband needs is a job. Even I’m ready to work as we want to put our life back on track,” she said.
If you wish to help Mobeen write to firstname.lastname@example.org
About the disease
Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease characterised by build up of thick, sticky mucus. Symptoms include damage to respiratory system and digestive problems.
Mucus clogs airways, leading to severe problems with breathing and bacterial infections in the lungs causing chronic coughing, wheezing and inflammation which result in permanent lung damage, including formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) and cysts in the lungs.