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Dubai hospital waives Dh2m fee, lets comatose maid fly home

Ethiopian maid sent home seven months and 11 days after falling into a coma soon after her arrival in the UAE

Image Credit: Suchitra Chaudhary/Gulf News
Najat Mohammad Al Nurye on the Ethiopian Airways flight.
Gulf News

Dubai: Seven months and 11 days after a 27-year old Ethiopian maid lapsed into a coma soon after her arrival in the UAE, she was flown back home, thanks to the magnanimous gesture of the hospital she was admitted in. She left behind an unpaid bill of Dh2 million as no organisation came forward to settle the amount.

Gulf News had reported the plight of Najat Mohammad Al Nurye in September last year. She arrived to work as a housemaid on July 21, 2017 and within 48 hours was found gasping for breath and foaming around her mouth with a suspected case of having ingested poison. She was taken to the International Modern Hospital emergency section.

Dr Kishen Pakkal, CEO of the hospital where Nurye had been a patient for the last seven months, said: “Najat was flown out at 5am on Thursday morning to Addis Ababa and was reunited with her family. After being comatose for so many months, she was only able to open her eyes and cry sometimes and we feel being united with her loved ones was the best humanitarian gesture we could have extended to her.”

Talking about what transpired in the previous months, he recalled: “We are a tertiary care hospital and we have a policy of never turning away a patient who comes to our emergency. On July 23, last year, Nurye was brought to the hospital in a comatose condition gasping for breath with pooled salivary secretion and high grade fever. She was intubated in the Emergency Room and placed on mechanical ventilator. It was suspected to be a case of attempted suicide by poisoning. The Dubai Police along with paramedic staff of DCAS stated that they found an empty box of Vaseline beside her at the location. Doubting that she had probably consumed poison, we conducted various tests to diagnose poisoning and treated her on those lines. We were not able to establish this, but Nurye remained comatose with little hopes of coming out of it. With no help on her case from any quarter, we thought it best to reunite her with her parents. At least familiar environment and being surrounded with loved ones would ease her pain a bit, we thought,” added Pakkal.

Nurye had come to the UAE on a housemaid visa and she went into coma even before her visa could be stamped or health insurance issued.