Kusum with her husband Sushil Khemani
Kusum with her husband Sushil Khemani in happier times Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: An Indian expat, who flew to her home country for her father’s funeral in March, is desperate to return to the UAE as her husband, who fell critically ill while she was away, is battling for his life in a Dubai hospital.

Kusum Khemani, a 51-year-old housewife, told Gulf News from Jhunjhunu, her native place in Rajasthan of India, on Friday that her husband Sushil Khemani, 59, was on the ventilator in the ICU of a public hospital after he was diagnosed with severe pneumonia, while she remained stranded.

She said, “In all honesty, 2020 had already been a bad start for me. My father had taken ill and I had travelled to India in December, only to extend my stay till March as he was bedridden. I was away from my husband and three daughters for three months. I finally returned to Dubai on March 7, only to receive the devastating news of my father’s death four days later. So I flew back to India on March 13.”

Kusum said she intended staying in India only till her father’s death formalities could be completed, but little did she know that another ordeal awaited the family here. The lockdown in India and subsequent flight suspensions from the UAE meant she could not return.

“Now it’s been over 60 days. Things could not have gotten worse during this time as my husband fell ill and has been hospitalised. He has been diagnosed with pneumonia and is battling for his life. He is on the ventilator at the ICU of a public hospital in Dubai,” she said, adding that her three daughters were at a loss on how to cope with this situation.

“I only want to plead to God and the Dubai Government to please, please reunite me with my family. They need me more than ever now. I will be forever grateful if my application for the return permit is approved at the very earliest. I just want to be with my family at such a difficult time,” she said.

Srishti Kemani, the eldest of Kusum’s daughters, said, “My father, who works in the textile industry, fell ill on April 30. He developed a mild fever, and went for a check-up at a local clinic. He took a second opinion at another clinic. By May 10, his condition got really bad and he had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. He was diagnosed with pneumonia.”

She said on May 19, he was moved to the ICU as his condition became critical.

“He is now on the ventilator. My two younger sisters and I have nobody else here with us and we feel very helpless. We just want our mother to be here. It will make a big difference to our father's condition too,” she said.

Srishti said they had tried to register their mother’s application on the Twajudi portal for a return permit and are still waiting for a response. "We humbly request the support of the authorities. We appeal for their help to accept and approve our mother’s application and allow her to fly back to the UAE.”

“Since his admission to the hospital, we have not seen our father in person and only spoke to him on the phone briefly before he went on the ventilator. Please, help us bring our mother to the UAE,” she pleaded.