UAE | General

Bedridden man in deep despair

Former driver has spent Dh70,000 on treatment of a condition that is yet to be diagnosed by doctors

  • By Faisal Masudi, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:50 January 2, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
  • Pakistani driver Zaheer Minhas, 52, who has lost all strength in his legs, is helped by his wife at their flat in Karama, Dubai. He has not left the apartment in one year.

Dubai: A former driver has said an unexplained health condition has left him bedridden and jobless in Dubai.

Zaheer Minhas, 52-year-old Pakistani, said his legs have no strength left and his arms are failing.

He was laid off in August 2011 for being “no longer physically able” for his heavy duty driver’s job at an airline catering company, his termination letter shows.

Medical records say he has multiple nerves malfunction but “unfortunately no apparent cause could be found”.

Minhas said his legs started to weaken after taking cholesterol medicine prescribed simvastatin by his company doctor early last year.

Muscle damage is a known but infrequent side effect of the statins drugs group that Simvastatin is part of.

However, his records indicate a complication related to nerves rather than muscles.

A doctor said: “It appears to be an isolated case for which the cause is unknown. If the nerves are affected, the muscles can be affected. However, there are no conclusive medical studies, as far as I know, about the correlation of such medication to neuropathy. Simvastatin’s common and safe like aspirin is.”

Minhas said he was referred to a Dubai hospital by the company but no cause of his complication was found. Self-paid check ups at a second hospital and clinic were also inconclusive, he added.

Minhas says he has no money for further tests like muscle and nerve biopsies and MRI brain scans, having spent around Dh70,000 in medical costs so far.

“My employment letter said I would get free medical treatment by a company doctor including medicine. Is this the ‘treatment’ they gave me? I think they let me go when they realised I would cost them more money,” he said.

“They didn’t let me go on leave to Pakistan in July 2011 so I could find a solution, as costs are cheaper there.

“Now I’m stranded, my visa has expired and I’m broke. My passport is with the company as they want me to cancel my wife and children’s visas first.

“But how can I do that? We’re barely surviving because my daughter brings home Dh2,500 a month.

“My wife is Indian and can’t settle in Pakistan, and I can’t settle in India as I’m Pakistani. I need my wife besides me all the time, even when I go to the bathroom. There’s nobody else to look after me.

“If I get thoroughly tested and treated properly, I could recover and work again. I don’t want to be a burden on anyone,” Minhas added, failing to wipe tears as he couldn’t lift his arms high enough.

Minhas said he moved to the UAE in 1973 and has a licence to drive five categories of vehicles.

“If someone helps my get a full diagnosis, I can then get treated accordingly. I want to work, I can’t bear being bedridden. I’m not dead, but I don’t feel alive.” 

Comments (15)

  1. Added 15:09 January 3, 2013

    I wish him for the complete health for zaheer bhai, bravo efforts/support from his wife. I hope India and pakistan govt should resolve the visa boundries between two countries for married guys willing settle down, any where they feel better of their choice, Secondly company should help this guy on medical basis, after all he was working their for years. may allah bless him good health.

    Ibrahim, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:40 January 3, 2013

    I think the Pakistan Association can help this person.. along with other helping people and organisations.. May God cure him soon..

    MD, RAK, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:07 January 3, 2013

    May Allah bless him and his family with good health and prosperity... Sad to know it but this is life.. editor, may we have the details on how can we help them.. thanks

    adnan, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:17 January 3, 2013

    I hope Minhas does not loose hope. God has mercy.

    Ridas, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:11 January 3, 2013

    May Allah Bless Him COmplete Health.

    Kamran AHmad Khalil, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:38 January 3, 2013

    Minhas is my neighbor for last 8 years, I have seen his struggle for last 2 years. He was one of the most active guy in our building taking all initiative for repair and maintenance. Ideally his company should have paid for all his medical expense which didn’t happen in past. I wish UAE well wishes, Pakistani/Indian consulate and Rulers will help him generously to get him out of this situation. Let’s all pray to God for his speedy recovery.

    Simon Benjamin, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:20 January 3, 2013

    Uncle has been our neighbor for the last 8 years and can guarantee that this is a genuine case. Its been over a year since I saw him get out of his flat and Aunty is desperate and can not even leave home to buy groceries. She mentioned that it was her daughters wedding in Pakistan a few months ago and as every parent, it was their wish to see them off, but sadly they could not even see the event and thanks to family back home, the daughter was married off. What is sad is that the doctors did not do much to try and diagnosis the sickness and they are bankrupt now to find or treat the problem. May God Almighty use many people to help this family in their desperate need

    Sawmya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 11:14 January 3, 2013

    With the current expat population in the UAE closed to 7.3 million of which I assume 2 million to be kids.I believe if we each one of us can contribute even 1 dhs for such people everytime we can collect 5.3 million dhs for such cases and get happiness by doing such a wonderfull act.I would recommend a welfare committe to be made in collecting funds and give it to relevant needy people.

    Zamil Samji, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:57 January 3, 2013

    Hope he can recover soon as he work in AUE more 15Years ++ what he will do if he back to home country, hope some people who effort can help him to recover soon

    Anand, Abu Dhabi, India

  10. Added 10:43 January 3, 2013

    This gentleman needs to see a Rheumatologist and a Neurologist as it sounds like a very rare disease often caused by statins called Myosytis. My mother has this and it took a couple of years to diagnose as it's rare, but with the increase of statin use it's becomming more prevalent. I do hope he can be helped, but I expect he needs to travel for help, as it's very specialised. If it is this disease (obviously I'm not a Dr, just seeing similarities) then it weakens all muscles in the body, including heart, swallowing etc. Please let this gentleman get help.

    Claire Townsend, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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