Dubai: Dubai resident Delma Dias was thrilled to find out she was carrying twins when tragedy struck in the fifth month of her pregnancy.
Living with her husband, 10-year-old daughter and mother in Dubai for over eight years, the Indian mother was looking forward to expanding her family.
One summer night in 2015, Dias was rushed to the emergency room after experiencing bleeding. While doctors were not able to identify the cause, Dias was running out of time.
She was unable to find another hospital that would admit her so late in her pregnancy, and was finally accepted in a hospital in Ajman.
“They did lots of tests and diagnosed my babies with very low weight as the cause for the bleeding, but they could not deliver the babies there as their incubators were not compatible with the babies’ small size,” explained Dias.
Soon after, Dias suffered from a rupture and severe bleeding and was admitted to Latifa Hospital where she gave birth to premature twins.
“Abigail was hospitalised for five months and she succumbed to her illness and left us on December 8, 2015. Aldin was hospitalised for seven months and was discharged with oxygen support on January 30, 2016,” said the broken-hearted mother.
She explained that her five-month-old daughter was too fragile and underdeveloped that her body could not handle the pressure.
Leaning on neighbours and colleagues for support, Dias said she was also appreciative of the understanding her supervisor and manager showed during this difficult time.
“My neighbours were great and helped take care of my other daughter when I needed to be in the hospital,” said Dias.
Surrounded by a strong support system, Dias found strength in another mother who she shared a similar story with during her time in the hospital.
“We got along very well, and she was my support and strength. We shared a connection and I was able to call her and take out my frustrations because she understood me. God sent her to me in my life when I needed someone like her the most,” said Dias.
She also turned to God and spent hours in the church praying and looking for what she described as “internal peace.”
Oxygen support for 6 months
Meanwhile, after her son Aldin made it home, he was under medication and oxygen support for around six months as his lungs were not fully developed.
He went back and forth to the hospital for treatment and physiotherapy sessions and was given Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) shots every winter for two years.
“Each shot cost between Dh3,000 and Dh5,000, and he needed one a month from September to December. This was not covered by insurance,” said Dias.
Today, as Aldin looks forward to his third birthday on June 17, his family is still paying off their Dh765,000 debt in hospital bills.
“The total bill was Dh1.4 million, and our insurance was able to settle Dh370,000. We have been paying off the outstanding amount in small sums on a monthly basis, but it has become way beyond our means to settle such a huge amount,” said Dias.
Latifa Hospital has confirmed the Dias family’s outstanding amount for the treatment of their twins.
Dias works at a logistics firm while her husband is an engineer. Despite the dual income, she said her family’s financial burden is mounting.
“Though we both are working, it is difficult to meet our expenses with our current salaries. We have additional financial challenges this year, which makes it all the more difficult,” she said.