NAT 191120 Cerebal Palsy girl-1575622613287
Lisa Foko with parents Agatha and Square. Lisa’s family need help for her upkeep after her father lost his job. Image supplied Image Credit:

Dubai: The father of an 18-year-old girl with cerebral palsy is appealing for financial help to pay for her upkeep after he lost his job in April.

Former sales manager Square Foko, 50, originally from Zimbabwe, has been out of work for seven months but cannot leave the UAE because his daughter Lisa is responding well to treatment, and he is in Dh360,000 debt due to her medical bills.

Square arrived in the UAE in 2014 and his family joined him three years later, including his daughter Lisa, who has been bedridden since birth, unable to speak, move or feed properly and who now relies on a feeding tube, tracheostomy and supplementary oxygen. Her mother, Agatha, 42, looks after her at home full-time because the family can’t afford the rates for home nursing and now they don’t have insurance cover because Square is out of work.

Lisa’s feeding tube is overdue a replacement, and the tracheostomy, that supplies oxygen through a tube that goes into her windpipe in her neck, also needs to be changed every six weeks.

However, without a job, Square is struggling, as he also has to provide for his wife, Lisa and her two siblings, elder brother Patrick, who has just completed university and younger brother Simbarashe, who is eight-years-old.

Lisa also requires regular physiotherapy at rates the family cannot afford. As a result, her muscular condition has deteriorated.

“On the whole Lisa has been responding well to treatment here and she has improved significantly,” said Square, who doesn’t want to leave.

However, with the obligation of a bank loan plus other routine monthly expenses including school fees, accomodation rentals, bills and family upkeep, the going has been very tough for Square and now Lisa is highly exposed in the absence of insurance coverage.