UAE | Health

‘I get suicidal pain but no hospital wants to treat me’

Norwegian woman who suffers from chronic condition recounts horrific experiences in Dubai

  • By Shveta Pathak, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 August 21, 2013

  • Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Xpress
  • giving up: Long-time resident Leila Camilla Gaaserud said she is returning home because she sees no hope of treatment in Dubai

Dubai: A Norwegian expat claims she is forced to endure intense ‘suicidal pain’ because no hospital wants to treat her.

Dubai-based Leila Camilla Gaaserud, 37, was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Type 2 in 2009 after she met a car accident and injured her right femoral nerve.

The femoral nerve is located in the leg and helps the muscles move the hip and straightens the leg. Damage to the nerve can lead to CRPS, a rare, chronic and progressive condition characterised by severe pain.

According to the McGill Pain scale, the CRPS pain is more acute than what is caused by amputation, cancer or child birth.

No respite

“It’s as if someone is chopping my leg with an axe. Every few days I am rushed to a hospital only to be sent back. At best they give me some paracetamol,” said Leila. “At one hospital I was screaming in pain unable to move but the doctor refused to admit me saying the hospital was full. As I begged him, he got very annoyed and called the police. I was put in a wheelchair and parked outside the hospital screaming in pain.

"My passport was also confiscated while the doctor suggested that I was perhaps a drug addict. When I explained my condition to the police, they wondered why they had been called in the first place.”

Leila said even a hospital which had earlier performed a Femoral Nerve Block on her to ease the pain refused to treat her again.

“This is impossible to understand...I don’t know what to do. This suicidal pain is so bad I once asked a doctor to cut the nerve even if it left me limp for the rest of my life.”

Leila’s mother Wenche Camilla said her daughter’s condition has changed their lives irrevocably. “Until four years ago, she was so active. She used to play polo but now, even her piano has remained untouched for months.”

Leila said the disorder is bleeding her red as her insurance company has not renewed her policy since 2011. “An Abu Dhabi-based insurance provider is willing to give me a potential cover, but they are asking for Dh336,282 a year. I have lived in Dubai for 18 years but am planning to leave now. I can’t live like this anymore.”

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Comments (5)

Your comments
  1. Added 09:10 August 22, 2013

    She needs to hire a lawyer to find out a proper way of getting her case addressed by the hospitals and the DHA. There must be several law firms who need pro bono work so why is no one helping her ? hospitals have no right to refuse treatment to any patient. I find it baffling that the doctor had the audacity to call the police on her. she should go to hospitals in Dubai.

    farida, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 08:53 August 22, 2013

    It is very sad to know the way doctors have treated her... if they couldn't find a cure for her pain at least they could have guided her to some other doctor or hospital.

    rita, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 02:44 August 22, 2013

    What a way to treat a patient.

    Fredrik, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 00:35 August 22, 2013

    Its very painful and to come across such incidents where e medical facility and health care systems exhibits a real factor of negligence towards humanity. Doctors in UAE should have a true heart committed to humanity enough to look at patients sufferings rather than being just doctor. May the almighty bless all the doctors.

    NM, SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 23:39 August 21, 2013

    Can't trust hospitals with a simple cold, let alone an illness like this one! I hope she finds the treatment she's looking for.

    Jay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates