Dubai: A Nigerian father in Dubai is seeking financial help to settle a massive outstanding hospital bill, following the birth of his premature baby.
His urgency mounted after a small amount of money, collected by his wife to pay an initial hospital bill, was stolen in Dubai. The perpetrator was jailed and will be deported back to his home-country, but that has left the couple in a lurch.
Desperate for financial help
Bright Chinyeaka Okpara (29) is desperately seeking help to pay his son's hospital bill which amounts to around Dh415,450, as of February 13.
Okpara claimed he planned everything in a proper way, but everything that happened was unexpected.
His wife, Ifunanya Obianuju (26), was due to deliver their first baby in January. The original plan was that she would leave the UAE on November 1, and be in her home country for the delivery. Obianuju is a housewife while Okpara is a follow-up clerk.
“I booked her tickets,” said Okpara.
However, little Ryan Neatochukwu Okapara arrived months earlier than expected. On October 10, Obianuju's water broke and she had to go in for emergency delivery.
Obianuju had asked for help from her family and managed to collect some money from them to pay the initial hospital bills. “We collected Dh20,000,” Okpara said.
In the first week of January, however, this money was stolen. Obianuju's brother-in-law, a security guard at the hospital, brought the money in a bag, leaving it on a table in the private hospital in Al Rafaa on October 18 last year. The bag was stolen, after which he raised the alarm.
The guard who viewed the CCTV footage saw a hospital worker taking the cash.
Okpara said, on February 2, the accused was found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison, followed by deportation. However, the couple did not get the stolen money back yet.
Though the incident has been resolved, Okpara said he is looking for help to settle the outstanding hospital bill. The couple did not get the stolen money back yet. Obianuju is a housewife while Okpara is a follow-up clerk.
Okapara said, "My company said my insurance is linked to my Emirates ID. Also, the PRO who did my wife's visa said the insurance is linked with my Emirates ID. But when I presented this to the hospital, they could not find any linked insurance."
"It has been a roller coaster ride for us. First the baby was born premature. Then our money [was] stolen. Now we have a mounting bill. My baby is due for discharge in a week, but we want to settle the bill and then only leave," he added.
"I feel stuck and don't know what to do," Okpara said.