Dubai: A 33-year-old Filipino expatriate flew back to his home country ailing and jobless last week, but not before he expressed his gratitude to the UAE.

A healthy and active young man until recently, the former Sharjah resident Jesrel Joya went through a veritable ordeal after being diagnosed with vasculitis, but he said the kindness of people in Dubai is something he will never forget.

Speaking to Gulf News before his departure, he said in April, he suddenly developed strange spots on his lower legs that left him baffled.

“They started as small red bumps on my lower leg. I did not pay too much attention as I thought they were just insect bites,” Joya said, adding, “The next day, they worsened. They looked like clusters of blisters and rashes all over my feet, shin and calf.”

Joya, who had been laid off in February after working for two years in a water transport company, said he kept putting off going to a doctor as he had no medical insurance. But when he finally did, with just Dh50 in his pocket, doctors diagnosed him with vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels.

On a three-month visit visa to look for a job, he said he was very thankful as the doctors did not charge him any fees. He was able to buy some medication with the help of his sister, friends and church mates. But he was told he needed to see a rheumatologist to determine the root cause of his condition.

He said what followed was almost miraculous.

A team that manages vasculitis at Emirates Hospital in Jumeirah, led by Dr Amit Kumar, consultant surgeon with special interest in vascular and endovascular surgery, and Dr Humeira Badsha, Consultant Rheumatologist, took on his case and facilitated his medical care.

Joya said he was also grateful to the Philippine Consulate-General for helping him with his flight back home upon the expiry of his visit visa.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped me, all the doctors who looked after me, Dr Amit and Dr Humeira, and the nurses, and the Philippine Consulate as well. I will continue my treatment in the Philippines and try my luck at job hunting later.”

Dr Kumar told Gulf News: “When I first saw Joya in early May, he was in pain. He was a young man who had become wheelchair-bound all of a sudden — not able to walk, requiring pain medicine and a helper full-time. So he was in a bad situation both emotionally and physically. But his wounds are much better now, his pain more manageable. He is still recovering and it’s going to take a few more months to get back on his feet.”

Vasculitis is a condition in which the blood vessels are inflamed. These can be the big, medium or the small blood vessels. Typically, patients will present with symptoms like fever, headache, fatigue, weight loss, rash and night sweats.